Las Vegas Gets Ready To Throw "America's Party" For New Year's Eve

Weather Forecast Favorable For Midnight Fireworks

Mitch Kelly
December 31, 2019 - 4:49 am
Fireworks illuminate the skyline over the Las Vegas Strip during an 8-minute-long pyrotechnics show put on by Fireworks by Grucci titled "America's Party" during a New Year's Eve celebration on January 1, 2019

Ethan MIller/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Fireworks in the skies and stars on stage are set to mark an annual New Year’s Eve celebration that has grown in size and scale since starting two decades ago to draw revelers to the Las Vegas Strip.

“America’s Party” organizers and tourism officials expect 330,000 visitors, and police said they’re prepared for 400,000 during the 2020 event that officials have dubbed “The Big 20.”

The largest crowd will be on Las Vegas Boulevard, which will be closed to vehicle traffic at 5:45pm Tuesday ahead of a choreographed eight-minute aerial pyrotechnic display at midnight fired from atop seven casino resorts.

Thousands more people are expected at the Fremont Street Experience downtown, for the debut of a $32 million upgrade to a canopy light and sound show high above a five-block carnival-like pedestrian midway bracketed by casinos and stages and featuring live bands and DJs.

Three hours after the 9 p.m. ball drop draws all eyes to New York’s Times Square, three-term Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and her husband, former three-term Mayor Oscar Goodman are scheduled to lead the downtown countdown to midnight Pacific time.

Fireworks in Las Vegas began after Oscar Goodman vowed when he took office in 1999 to host a New Year’s fireworks spectacle.

Developers say the “Viva Vision” canopy over Fremont Street is seven times brighter than it had been, with four times better resolution. It’s designed to operate in daylight and darkness.

“Woah! It’s very visual,” said Hana Spacek, a retiree and watercolor and pencil artist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who happened to catch a recent preview of the show while visiting Las Vegas with her partner, Colin Easthope.

Bolts of color, clouds, tumbling geometric shapes and star cruisers raced overhead while a solid wave of sound washed over the crowd.

“It assaults every sense,” Spacek said.

Casino venues are scheduled to host Lady Gaga, Journey, Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5 and Third Eye Blind among many other performers.

Celebrity restaurants plan New Year’s Eve menus, and various nightclubs will feature DJ names including Steve Aoki, the Chainsmokers, Tyga, NAS, Lil John and T-Pain.

Las Vegas police say plainclothes and uniformed officers, federal agents and resort security will be in and around casino-hotels and on rooftops. Glass bottles, coolers and backpacks won’t be allowed on the Strip after street closures begin in the evening.

Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters that authorities had encountered no “specific, credible threat” to Las Vegas or southern Nevada.

New Year’s Eve is worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.