New York, Las Vegas ring in 2019 with fireworks

Officials estimated more than 300,000 people gathered on the Las Vegas Strip for a celebration anchored by an 8-minute firework show

Tens of thousands of people rang in the New Year across Las Vegas, watching fireworks launch from the top of some of the city’s iconic casino-resorts, attending superstar performances at various venues and participating in a celebratory midnight toast.

Officials estimated more than 300,000 people gathered on the Las Vegas Strip for a celebration anchored by an 8-minute firework show, while thousands more convened in the area’s downtown entertainment district to enjoy live music. And for those who decided to head into 2019 indoors, Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Gwen Stefani and other stars helped them do so in proper form at different venues along the world-famous corridor.

“No other city in the world does it like Las Vegas, and that’s why it’s called America’s Party,” Lawrence Weekly, chairman of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said during a news conference announcing details of the celebrations. “Listen, some folks, and I know some of you guys, are going to look at me and say “Really, Weekly, the shame? But some folks stand outside in frigid cold just to watch a ball drop.’ But where else in the world do you have a great concert all up and down and iconic boulevard?”

New Year’s Eve is worth an estimated $403.1 million to the city, according to the convention and visitors authority. The agency responsible for promoting Las Vegas expected 318,000 people to travel to the city for the holiday and projected that 97 per cent of the city’s more than 147,000 hotel rooms would be booked.

Federal agents and local police were out in force, with teams of police stationed inside most major casinos on the Strip, plainclothes officers in the crowd and snipers keeping an eye on things from rooftops. Officials also banned backpacks, ice chests, strollers and glass items from the street celebrations as a safety measure.

The theme for this year’s firework show was “Vegas Nights.” Organizers tried to emulate the sense of excitement of an evening in Las Vegas with fireworks in rich purple, green, gold and cherry red hues.

The 80,000 pyrotechnic firings were choreographed to a custom soundtrack that includes Frank Sinatra’s “Luck be a Lady,” Lionel Ritchie’s “All Night Long,” Celine Dion’s “I Drove All Night” and Gaga’s “Marry The Night.” The show was scheduled to begin 10 seconds before midnight at the Stratosphere casino-resort. Fireworks then launched from the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand casino-resorts.

Inside, casino operators pulled out all the stops for the celebration. Gaga was at Park Theater at Park MGM casino-resort, Dion at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Stefani performed at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood and Maroon 5 took the stage at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

At the ticketed, lower-key celebration in downtown Las Vegas, 12 bands played in four different stages set up along the Fremont Street entertainment district. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman led a celebratory midnight toast.

(Canadian Press)

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

Kelowna mothers to share grief, spread awareness for Overdose Day

Moms Stop the Harm is hosting an event for International Overdose Awareness Day in Kerry Park

Latino-American rock ‘n’ roll band The Mavericks coming to Kelowna

Kelowna is the only B.C. stop on the band’s worldwide tour

UBC Okanagan Heat score 10 goals in pre-season double-header

Two exhibition wins in the U.S. to start the year for the mens Heat squad

Kelowna transit system to add new routes in September

The decision is due to increase in demand, according to BC Transit

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Okanagan RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Vernon Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read