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

BREAKING: Highway 3 near Keremeos closed due to rockslide

Highway 3 just west of Keremeos is closed as of 8:44 p.m.… Continue reading

UPDATE: Destructive blaze in West Kelowna

A unit of a condo complex is on fire in West Kelowna

Okanagan College to develop wellness strategy for drug use

The Kelowna campus has 28 employees trained in the use of naloxone.

UPDATE: Highway 97 now open at Drought Hill

A collision near Peachland has caused a backup in traffic on Highway 97

Homeless Osoyoos man allegedly doused in ice water while he slept

Community outraged at treatment of well-known homeless community member

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Pet Planet picks up Okanagan’s cannabis for pets

True Leaf Medicine International expands retail distribution to 3,500 stores worldwide

AquaVan comes to Okanagan Science Centre

200-litre mobile touch tank allows you to get up-close with marine invertebrates

Army of support behind Black Press saleswoman battling cancer

GoFundMe helps empower Sue Folliott’s fight

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

No joke: Kelowna’s first zero-waste grocery store to open April 1

Farm Bound Zero Waste has announced its opening date

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

Most Read