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

Storm prompts travel warning for Boundary, West Kootenay

Up to 25 cm expected on high mountain passes

Cops seize load of pot near Salmo

Traffic stop nets hundreds of pounds of cannabis

Home fuel tank fails, spilling oil near Nakusp

Officials say 700 litres may have escaped in the spill

RED Mountain resort delays opening day

Lack of snow puts damper on start of season

Body found in car at bottom of lake near Needles ferry

Police say at this time no foul play is suspected

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

Most Read