New Years Eve in Las Vegas. The ultimate place to ring in the new year!! And the estimates are that over 330,000 people will be here to do just that on Thursday. As usual, it will be a blustery evening. The high expected to be around 50 degrees with the low being just under freezing, 28 degrees. Yes, it will be a cold, cold evening.
Personally, I like to head down there just as they are shutting off traffic. The I-15 off-ramps are shut down at around 5pm, the main Strip being closed at 6pm. The resorts start their crowd control, putting up the 10 ft fencing and barriers. Metro starts to set up their drunk pond down the middle of the street. By 6:30, the Strip roadway is now open only to pedestrians. Also at this time, the moving walkways, elevators and escalators leading to and crossing Las Vegas Boulevard will be shut off. Tourists start to wander out and walk roadway.
I call the Metro fence area “the duck pond” because it reminds me of a reverse of the duck pond at your local county fair. You know, where you stand next to it and watch the plastic duckies float around in a circle. For a price, you get to pick one, look at the number in its belly and see what prize you won! Afterward, you put it back with the other ducks. Here, it’s the reverse.
The “pond” is a 3-foot high fence enclosing the median area. Metro officers stay inside the area and patrol the growing crowds that mostly walk in a circle around the median, stopping for drinks, selfie photos and high fives with fellow tourists they meet. When someone gets too drunk for Vegas standards, and that is Pretty drunk, they pluck them out of the pond and see what prize they caught. Inside the fencing, they can let them sober up a little then put them back into the circling crowd. Just like you did with the duck at the fair. If they are beyond hope or salvation, Metro can quickly dispatch them from the pond to a nearby paddy wagon for a ride to the tank.
By 9pm, the resort private parties are just getting started and the Strip is beginning to get crowded with the crazies. This is usually when I pack it in and head back home. Plus its freezing by that time! By 10pm, the resorts have been barricaded shut. You will need a room key to get past security to get onto the property. Every member of your party will need a room key or a pass!
As the magic hour approaches, things get colder and crazier as the crowds are their max. The cameras of the world have left New York City’s Times Square and are now focused on Las Vegas. Plus all our local news stations have their live coverage on the Strip. With the bright lights and freezing cold (for us), its kind of funny to watch how they dress. Some have their deep freeze parkas on and they look like they are impersonating the character “Kenny” from South Park.
You can not have a celebration like this in Las Vegas without blowing something up. The 2016 Las Vegas strip fireworks display calls for fireworks to be shot from seven casino rooftops this year. With that, there will be hit music choreographed from various artists.
Fireworks shot from the rooftops of the
- ARIA Resort & Casino
- MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
- Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
- Caesars Palace
- Treasure Island
- The Venetian
- Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower
The fireworks show will last 8 minutes and 23 seconds with over 80,000 fireworks explosions planned.
Everything will wrap up around 2am and the street cleaning crews move in from the south and north. By 5am, the las Vegas Strip is clean and open to traffic. Looking like any other normal Saturday morning in Las Vegas!
For those not into big, crowded celebrations out in the freezing cold, we offer the more intimate crowded confines under the canopy of the Fremont Street experience.
Downtown Countdown TributePalooza – 2016 New Year’s Eve celebrations at Fremont Street Experience will guarantee over 10 hours of non-stop entertainment and concerts by 13 Tribute bands playing on 2 stages starting at 5:30pm. Tickets Required
They lock down the Experience, sell tickets to the event and party under the big top! Cost now is $40 per person (get them at your hotel or the gate), must be 21 years old or older. Not sure about the panhandlers, if they have to buy a ticket or just cry and the city council will give them a free pass. They put 20-30,000 people in there and they do live fireworks as well as displayed fireworks on the big screen. I have never been down there for New Years Eve, looks too crowded. However, I’ve been told its better than the Strip. All that body heat can do wonders on a cold evening!
Like many locals, we enjoy watching the evening madness like we watch the snow blizzards sweeping the midwest, from the comfort of our warm homes on the TV or the back patios!!
However You Celebrate the New Year, Please Be Safe!
Photo: Tom Donoghue