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The Las Vegas Review-Journal team is scattered around the city to bring you the latest from America’s party capital as we ring in 2023. Check back here for the latest from the Strip and the Fremont Street Experience.

8:55 pm

‘A new beginning’

As the thick stench of marijuana wafted on the pedestrian bridge over Tropicana Avenue just east of the Strip, Jameil Avery, 46, was selling $1 waters and $2 sodas out of a cooler as the prelude to the partying was beginning to take hold.

“It’s kind of festive,” Avery said. “It’s the pregame stage.”

Jameil Avery on the pedestrian bridge over Tropicana Avenue just east of the Strip on Dec. 31, ...
Jameil Avery on the pedestrian bridge over Tropicana Avenue just east of the Strip on Dec. 31, 2022.. (Brett Clarkson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Avery, who has been selling beverages on the Strip for about eight months, called 2022 “humbling” and is hoping for a 2023 in which everybody comes together for a more peaceful world.

“New Year’s Eve is a new beginning, a new start,” Avery said.

He said he’s been meeting people from all over the world and all over the United States on the bridge. And the people just kept coming.

With the atmosphere heating up by the minute, somebody else on the bridge yelled, appropriately enough, “It’s Vegas, baby!”

— Brett Clarkson

8:30 p.m.

Newlyweds ring in the new year

As Tim and Becky Cocchia waited for The Struts to play on the Third Street Stage downtown, waving a $7 2023 sign from Party City, they were celebrating an occasion other than the new year.

The Phoenix couple were married the day before at the Vegas Weddings chapel downtown.

When asked why they chose Las Vegas for their nuptials, Tim Cocchia responded “Why not? It’s the best place to come.”

— Lorraine Longhi

8:24 p.m.

Decked out in pink

The crowd has yet to gather on the Strip, but that makes a California couple in pink stand out.

In a pink furry coat with more pink accents is Sonya and her partner, Ed, who wears a pink velvet hat with a pink shirt under his blazer and pink shoes. They declined to give their last names.

“We don’t always dress like this,” Ed said. “But it’s New Year’s!”

They’ll be attending the Raiders game Sunday.

“We’re big Raiders fans” Ed said.

— Jimmy Romo

8:20 p.m.

Outside The Strat

Surress Walla traveled to Las Vegas from Tempe, Arizona, to celebrate the new year by going clubbing. But before heading out, he made sure to get a picture in front of the city of Las Vegas sign just outside The Strat.

“I wanted to since it’s telling people where you are, and it’s beautiful.” Walla said.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

8:15 p.m.

Dapperly dressed

Inside Resorts World Las Vegas, partiers played giant beer pong with trash can-size red Solo Cups and basketballs. Couples took photos in front of the giant orb near Zouk Nightclub.

Dapperly dressed men and women in tuxedos and dresses walked around, waiting to ring in the new year. A few people wore masks while carrying the famous oversized drinks around the casino.

— Jessica Hill

8 p.m.

A selfie with Julius Caesar

Two locals take a selfie in the middle of the Strip and Caesars Palace Drive with the statue of Julius Caesar in the background.

As the streets are blocked off for New Year’s, tourists and locals take to the streets awaiting the fireworks and festivities.

Jaime, who declined to give his last name, and his girlfriend were visiting his mom in Las Vegas from Long Beach, California.

Normally, “this is a time to stay away from the Strip,” he said.

But when his girlfriend found out there would be fireworks, she thought it would be great to see her boyfriend’s mother and the fireworks for New Year’s.

— Jimmy Romo

8 p.m.

‘Here to have fun’

As live music from bands like The Struts and the Wailers gets ready to kick off, Rolando Espinoza is leading a troupe of four dancers decked out in futuristic, holographic jumpsuits — reminiscent of the French electronic music duo Daft Punk – to hype up the throngs of visitors.

The dancers, part of the entertainment agency Champagne Creative Group, attract attention everywhere they go on Fremont Street, with visitors stopping to take photos of them.

Espinoza said the dancers have been performing for 17 years all over the country, including six years with the Fremont Street Experience. It’s his job to keep the dancers safe, but some of the revelers are still shy around the dancers at this point in the night.

He said to wait until 10 or 11 p.m., when things will get “crazy.”

“The reality is that a lot of people just want to have fun, and we’re here to have fun with them,” Espinoza said.

— Lorraine Longhi

7:55 p.m.

‘It’s festive here’

Revelers in downtown Las Vegas shot second looks at the group of men wearing Christmas-lights as necklaces underneath their fancy coats.

New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas has become a tradition for the San Francisco group that became friends in nursing school.

“It’s festive here,” Joe Doruelo said.

The 29-year-old said the group enjoys the fact that Las Vegas stays open during the festivities.

“Aside from fireworks, you can do a lot of things here,” he added.

They said they were on the way to the Strip to ring in the new year there.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

7:45 p.m.

Road reminder

Las Vegas police reminded drivers that Spring Mountain Road is open eastbound and westbound at the Strip. In addition, Tropicana Avenue is open in both directions at the Strip.

— David Wilson

7:31 pm

$10 hot dogs

Vendors line the sidewalk outside the Bellagio fountains. In English and Spanish, they promote glowing and spinning toys, flashing headbands and 2023 accessories. A food vendor feverishly cooks tacos and hot dogs. Priced at $10 for a frank, it’s not much relief from the $10 slice of pizza available at Caesars Palace’s food court.

— McKenna Ross

7:26 p.m.

More road closures

The Regional Transportation Commission tweeted a slew of road closures that included Flamingo Road closing between Valley View Boulevard and Koval Lane until 2 a.m.

Flamingo also is closed at the Strip until 2 a.m. The Strip is closed from Spring Mountain Road to Tropicana Avenue.

— David Wilson

7:25 p.m.

‘It’s a good time’

Brenda and Michelle Woodward got engaged one New Year’s Eve six years ago. On Saturday, both wore festive cone hats and 2023-shaped glasses as they wrapped up dinner at Evel Pie.

They were heading into the Fremont Street Experience to ring in Jan. 1 for the second consecutive year.

“It’s crazy. It’s fun. We love it,” Michelle Woodward said.

Brenda Woodward, left, and her wife Michelle Woodward “carb load” at Evel Pie on ...
Brenda Woodward, left, and her wife Michelle Woodward “carb load” at Evel Pie on East Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve Friday, Dec. 31, 2022. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto

The local couple regularly celebrates the occasion in the tourist corridor, including the Strip, and highly recommend that others do the same.

“I think you have to make it out here,” Michelle Woodward said.

“At least once in your life,” Brenda Woodward added. “It’s a good time.”

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

7:25 p.m.

Holiday favorites

At Resorts World’s “Enchant on the Strip” attraction, visitors buy hot chocolate and clam chowder, take selfies in front of the Christmas displays, ice skate in a rink and watch performers sing.

Seemingly at random, a pair of marching band drummers march through the stalls and past a color guard marching with a flag. Snow from a snow machine flutters in the air, adding to a winter wonderland facade.

— Jessica Hill

7 p.m.

‘OK to stick out’

Outside the Golden Nugget, Ethan Klohn and his brothers strolled down Fremont Street wearing matching sequined suits: one yellow, one pink and one blue.

“It’s OK to stick out,” Klohn said of the coordinating looks.

The Dallas brothers have visited Las Vegas before, but Klohn said they opted to spend New Year’s Eve downtown in part because of the prime people-watching opportunities.

— Lorraine Longhi

6:45 p.m.

So much to do

Adonis Banipalsin and his parents, Sarkis Banipalsin and Mari Takiyeh, were amazed by the Christmas lights at “Enchant on the Strip.” They saw the attraction from their hotel room and had to check it out before comedian Kevin Hart’s performance. They also are looking forward to the fireworks show to ring in the new year.

Adonis Banipalsin, center, and his parents Sarkis Banipalsin, left, and Mari Takiyeh, right, vi ...
Adonis Banipalsin, center, and his parents Sarkis Banipalsin, left, and Mari Takiyeh, right, visit Enchant at Reports World on New Year’s Eve. (Jessica Hill/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Many people think Las Vegas is only gambling and drinking, Adonis Banipalsin said, but “you have all these beautiful monuments, all the shows, things to explore.”

The family is in town until Monday, and plans to see a Cirque du Soleil show and another light display before leaving.

“It’s amazing how much stuff there is to do in Vegas,” Adonis Banipalsin said.

— Jessica Hill

6:44 pm

New Year’s birthday

Visitors mill about the gingerbread display of the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens — so many it’s hard to navigate through the strollers and outstretched arms taking selfies.

Tucked along one of the banks, South Bend, Indiana, residents Katelin Husband and Brandon Robinson took their own selfie in front of a Christmas tree display. The couple thought the destination was a perfect place for New Year’s festivities.

“It’s Vegas — and it’s her birthday,” Robinson said.

— McKenna Ross

6:30 p.m.

Downtown roads close

Ahead of the “NYE Time of Your Life Festival” at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas, Fourth Street between Carson and Ogden avenues and Casino Center Boulevard between Carson and Ogden were closed.

The roads are scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. on Sunday.

— Lorraine Longhi

6:30 p.m.

Winter wonderland

Peter, an off-duty employee at Resorts World Las Vegas who declined to give his last name, was with his daughter at the “Enchant on the Strip” attraction 5½ hours before the new year. He is looking forward to seeing comedian Kevin Hart perform tonight, as well as watching the fireworks with his daughter. This is his fourth New Years in Las Vegas, and he said the weather is much better tonight than last year.

“It was pretty cool,” Peter said of the Enchant maze, where visitors can meander through a maze of Christmas lights. Live musicians perform in the area as visitors sip on drinks and eat snacks, with bright Christmas lights surrounding them.

“I just loved seeing all the lights,” his daughter said.

— Jessica Hill

6:01 p.m.

Roads begin closing

The Metropolitan Police Department tweeted, “Roads are beginning to shutdown in preparation for #vegasnye.”

According to the tweet, Interstate 15 offramps at Flamingo Road were closed, as well as southbound Las Vegas Boulevard, or the Strip, at Spring Mountain Road and Las Vegas Boulevard northbound at Tropicana Avenue.

— Carri Geer Thevenot

5:04 p.m.

Rain expected around midnight

Wind gusts in the Las Vegas Valley coming from the south were around 20 mph, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Jenn Varian.

She said the wind would be picking up over the next few hours with wind gusts between 25 and 30 mph.

“It won’t be long lasting. You would just get a gust here and there,” Varian said.

Around midnight gusts are expected to be less frequent and will drop back down to 20 mph.

“That’s when light rain is going to move in, unfortunately, right around midnight,” Varian said.

She said it’s possible that the rain might miss the Strip.

“It’s going to hit Mount Charleston and kind of go around us so that’s possible, but we are expecting light rain at least if not at midnight definitely overnight,” Varian said.

Around 5 p.m. the temperature at Harry Reid International Airport was 58 degrees and was expected to drop to 55 degrees by midnight, according to Varian.

— David Wilson

3:35 p.m.

Road closures planned

As 400,000 partygoers are set to descend on the Strip to celebrate New Year’s Eve, here is the latest information on transportation and prohibited items:

Road closures on the Strip between Spring Mountain Road and Tropicana Avenue (which covers the Strip from Treasure Island to the MGM Grand) are set to start at 6:30 p.m. and by 8 p.m., all traffic will be shut down in the area.

The offramps around Flamingo Road and Interstate 15 are set to be closed in both directions beginning at 5 p.m.

All roads are expected to reopen by 6 a.m. on Sunday.

The Metropolitan Police Department noted that the situation on New Year’s Eve is fluid and that changes to road closures could happen “without notice,” according to a department social media post.

The Regional Transportation Commission is offering free rides on its bus routes from 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day. The RTC also is modifying certain bus routes around downtown Las Vegas and the Strip for New Year’s Eve. More information on these changes can be found on the RTC website.

The city of Las Vegas also announced that Lyft will be offering a $5 discount for rides around the city for customers if they use the promo code: NYESAFERIDE22. This discount will be valid until 6 a.m. Monday.

Several items are banned for the holiday celebration on the Strip, including coolers, strollers, large bags, glass and metal containers. A curfew will prohibit those under 18 from being in downtown Las Vegas and on the Strip without a parent or guardian on New Year’s Eve.

Sean Hemmersmeier

Live blogging New Year’s Eve

Check back with us all night as we bring you the scenes from NYE in LV. In the meantime, follow the links below for more information on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas:

New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas: A guide to fireworks, concerts and parties

Top 10 concerts in Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve weekend

All New Year’s Eve coverage

Article written by Las Vegas Review-Journal #ReviewJournal

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