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

No flu outbreaks in Nanaimo yet, but health authority still recommends flu shot

Dr. Paul Hasselback says 260,000 doses of vaccine distributed so far

Couple collecting empties for VIU scholarships can’t pick up cans on campus anymore

Parmars have been picking up cans for 12 years; university now enforcing safety policy

Gogo’s tree farm celebrates 90th year of growing Christmas trees

Gogo Christmas tree farm has grown Christmas trees since 1929 and started U-cut business in 1984

Nanaimo’s November was much drier than normal

Region got less than one-third normal rainfall for month and 2019 trending toward driest in 10 years

Raise the curtains: New outdoor theatre coming to Parksville

A $204,000 boost comes from Island Coastal Economic Trust

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were woman

B.C.-born hockey official talks to IIHF about switching European rule book to NHL rules

Rob Shick will represent NHL at 4th World Hockey Forum in Russia

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Nanaimo Clippers holding Teddy Bear Toss

BCHL team has pair of home games this weekend, including charity event Saturday, Dec. 7

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Coins can add up to a merrier Christmas for kids

News Bulletin’s Coins for Kids campaign now underway

Most Read