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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New BC Ferries hybrid-electric vessels arrive in Victoria

BC Ferries plans to add four more hybrid-electric vessels to fleet

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers sees 37 per cent increase in tips in 2019

The non-profit takes anonymous tips from the public, brings information to police

Almost 150 calls of service for Westshore Towing during snowstorm

Most calls were from Sooke, Metchosin and Highlands

VIDEO: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine

Take an inside look at how icewine is made

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Intense winds en route to Greater Victoria

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Most Read