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Amanda Finnegan

New Year's Eve plans for Strip, downtown announced

17 December 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and tourism officials announced details Tuesday for New Year's Eve on the Strip and downtown.

Las Vegas Events president Pat Christenson said this year's events will take on a theme called "Takin' it to the Streets" with fireworks that will be fired from ground locations mainly on the Strip, rather than casino rooftops, which had been the tradition in previous years.

"It was partially to get people down to the Strip but also it was to redesign the show, do something different," Christenson said. "Also, in terms of shooting off the rooftops, it was getting more and more difficult to meet the requirements Clark County had."

Rather than having spectators strain their necks by looking up, they'll be able to look directly out and see the firework display, Christenson said. However, the fireworks won't be visible to those at locations off the Strip.

Grucci of New York will produce the New Year's fireworks display for the fifth year. Grucci has produced Fourth of July shows in Vegas for the past 20 years, seven consecutive presidential inaugurations, two Olympic Games and celebrations on the Brooklyn Bridge.

More than 30,000 effects will be fired from eight locations during the eight-minute, 10-second program. Firing locations will include Mandalay Bay, the Luxor, MGM Grand, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, the Las Vegas Convention Center, Stratosphere and Fremont Street.

Visitors also can join Goodman at the Fremont Street Experience for New Year's Eve celebrations with fireworks and eight tribute bands.

"I believe this is going to be the start of a great year for Las Vegas," Goodman said of the new year. "I believe this is going to be the beginning of the comeback as far as our economy is concerned and we're going to start it off with a bang, both literally and figuratively."

Residents will receive free admission downtown with a Nevada ID. Wristband distribution for locals will begin at 10 a.m. Dec. 31 in the storefront next to Walgreens on Fremont Street. Gates will open at 6 p.m.