Las Vegas Sun

October 25, 2014

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Navigating New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas

Final preparations are under way to accommodate the thousands of people expected to begin 2011 in Las Vegas. The Strip and downtown are expecting 320,000 visitors for New Year's Eve festivities, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Preparations for the elaborate fireworks show on the Strip have been under way for more than two weeks.

More than eight minutes of pyrotechnics will be shot off from the roofs of seven casinos: MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, the Venetian and the Stratosphere.

Revelers will also find plenty of entertainment downtown, where the Fremont Street Experience is hosting its 3rd annual TributePalozza with 12 bands performing throughout the night and a virtual fireworks display on the LED canopy at midnight. Admission is $20.

Dozens of other events are scattered across the valley. Visit the Las Vegas Sun New Year's Eve guide for a complete list of tonight's festivities.

Metro Police said they will be strictly enforcing two special rules for the holiday.

County and city laws ban metal and glass containers on the Strip and downtown from 6 p.m. Dec. 31 to 6 a.m. Jan. 1. Police also ask revelers not to carry large backpacks or other bags that could conceal cans or bottles.

County ordinance also sets a curfew for minors on the Strip. Children under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian on the Strip from 9 p.m. Dec. 31 to 5 a.m. Jan. 1.

And no matter the destination, partiers should give themselves extra travel time Friday night.

The Nevada Highway Patrol is scheduled to begin closing freeway off-ramps near the Strip at 5:30 p.m. Metro Police will begin closing Las Vegas Boulevard to traffic at 6:15 p.m. and other roads leading to the Strip will be cleared by 6:30 p.m.

Las Vegas Boulevard will be closed between Sahara Avenue and Russell Road until at least 3 a.m. The only cross street that will remain open is Desert Inn Road, which runs under the Strip.

Law enforcement officials also are reminding people to stay out of the driver's seat if they have been drinking at all. Police agencies across the region will be aggressively looking for drunken drivers.

To help people get around town during the next two days, the Regional Transportation Commission will be offering free bus service, Designated Driver's Inc. will be offering free rides and AAA will be offering free tows home.

Bus service will be free throughout the valley from 6 p.m. today to 9 a.m. Saturday, however, many of the buses will be running on altered routes to accommodate closed roads.

Local residents can also take advantage of the RTC's four park and ride lots to use the express bus services to access the Strip and downtown.

Some bus routes will run extra buses until 2 a.m. or later, but for the rest of Saturday, the buses will run on a Sunday schedule because of lower ridership. A complete list of bus detours and schedules is available on the RTC's website.

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