New Year’s Eve on the Las Vegas Strip is one of America’s great celebrations, a couple of hundred thousand people walking down one of the world’s most famous streets with drinks in hand, all gathered to watch multiple fireworks shows.
It doesn’t matter where you are on the Strip, you can see the fireworks.
They come ready to party – after all, they are in Vegas! – and the Strip provides the platform for them to play. The crowd is comprised of singles and couples, young and young forever, single, seeking, separated and attached. Click here for more photos and video. New Year’s Eve 2021 (leading into 2022) is on a Friday.
The plan is not to have a plan and that is the beauty of New Year’s Eve on the Strip. There’s no rush to get to a bar, no $150-300 event with a celebrity, no need to worry about securing tickets in advance. The event is open to the public and it’s free.
So the people are free-wheeling.The scene runs all up and down the Strip, from MGM to the Stratosphere. The fireworks are shot off from parking lots in seven locations; a top viewing spot is by the Venetian and Treasure Island and around Paris/Bellagio.
One of the most popular places is outside Caesars Palace in the mid-Strip area. Here, finding a little bit of space takes a few moments. In most other places, there are people all around but it’s not shoulder-to-shoulder crowded.
People pause along the way, stopping to chat with newfound friends, watch the fountain show at the Bellagio, perhaps whoop up a “Happy New Year” cheer to strangers.
What they are definitely doing is stopping at one of the beer stations, the NYE novelty stand and the Port-o-lets.
There are more libation choices available, of course. Bars in casinos pour drinks to go, some in large green or blue plastic containers.
There are liquor, convenience and souvenir stores along the Strip which sell alcohol and mixers.
This is Vegas and it’s legal to drink on the street. PubClub.com advises enjoying those drinks in plastic cups. And in case anyone gets out of line, police are ready to step in and stop that party; they occupy the median of the Strip and their presence is prevalent.
Which is good, because it keeps trouble to a minimum, making the evening enjoyable for all the fun folks.
Not everyone looks like these guys, but they sell NE hats, beads and shades.
As the hour approaches midnight, it’s time to find that perfect position for the fireworks. Vegas shoots off the show from seven locations. It’s synchronized to make its way up the Strip from parking lots at these locations:
* MGM Grand
• Planet Hollywood
• Ceasers Palace
• Treasure Island/Mirage
One thing to note is that the casinos close their doors to all but their guests. So for a couple of hours before midnight, those who venture out onto the Strip must stay on the Strip. The Strip is also closed to traffic by 8 p.m., and parking at the free casino lots – even for those with hotel reservations – is tight.
Where To Party And Drink After The Fireworks
After the fireworks, it’s not quite the “first to the closest bar wins” situation, but many of the establishments along the street charge for entry. Just wait about an hour and those cover charges at some places disappear as fast as your cocktails.
The dueling piano bar at Harrah’s is a reasonable $5 and it’s a very fun destination, tho it’s not a great pick-up bar.
The dueling panio bar at Harrah’s sings in tne New Year on the Strip
As good as it is to be at a popular street party where drinks are allowed, New Year’s Eve on the Strip has some areas that could use a bit of improvement
Most notably, there is no official countdown in many places so it’s hard to know exactly when the big moment is about to occur. As it is, people simply start their own countdown and others join in the chant.
A ball drop of some kind – or how about a casino chip drop? – utilizing the huge video screens in front of the casinos in a coordinated display would do the trick.
The event could also use a more locations of Port-o-lets, particularly at or around Caesars. A couple more beer stations would also be a welcome addition.
Top Tip: Take your cocktails with you; it’s easier to get mixers along the way.
Weather: Warm by day, chilly when the sun goes down. Definitely pack a heavy jacket. And gloves are not a bad idea, either. PubClub.com has been in Vegas on NYE when it actually snowed.