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Pyrotechnics readied for massive fireworks show on Las Vegas Strip

Updated December 30, 2021 - 7:20 pm

Preparations are underway to fill the Strip skyline with fireworks for the America’s Party show on New Year’s Eve.

Mortar racks lined the roof of Planet Hollywood, as officials for Fireworks by Grucci previewed the show’s operations at the resort Thursday, as the countdown to midnight and the New Year creeps closer.

The event is put on by Las Vegas Events, with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Clark County and Las Vegas.

This year, Planet Hollywood and seven other hotel-casinos will participate in Friday night’s eight-minute New Year’s fireworks and entertainment celebration: the MGM Grand, Aria, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, The Venetian, The Strat and Resorts World Las Vegas — the newest property addition following its June opening.

The event, themed “Deuces Wild,” marks the return of New Year’s Eve fireworks after a hiatus for New Year’s Eve 2020 because of COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions.

“We couldn’t be more grateful, especially after last year’s hiatus due to COVID,” Scott Cooper, director of business development for the fireworks company.

“Back here on the Strip, the liveliness of it and seeing all the people come here for New Year’s Eve and the fireworks (is the most exciting part). We’re excited to have an incredible show for the hundreds of thousands of people on the Strip.”

While other major cities have scaled down or outright canceled their celebrations because of a growing surge of COVID-19 cases from the omicron variant, Las Vegas’ show is continuing as planned. Metropolitan Police Department officials said Wednesday that they expect 300,000 people to celebrate the new year in the valley.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board said it would intensify enforcement of mask mandates because of rising COVID-19 cases and the influx of visitors for the holiday.

The eight-minute show — set to hits including Taylor Swift’s “22” and Aerosmith’s “Deuces Are Wild” — will feature pastel-colored fireworks, popular smiley faces and hearts and unique linear shapes that make walls and blossoming motions.

The pyrotechnics, controlled by more than 60 technicians and 70 support staff, will launch from the properties’ rooftops.

More than 11,500 electrical circuits have been programmed to launch with lightning speed and precision, delivering an intricate, choreographed sequence from the eight locations.

“Each circuit can display several light, color and audible effects, resulting in multiple pyrotechnic firings during the performance,” organizers said in a release.

Pyrotechnicians spent this week setting up the mortar racks, wiring them into a panel and ensuring that everything was in place for the show.

Computers will send a signal to spark an electrical match when it’s time for a particular firework to explode, technicians said.

It’s all part of the thousands of hours spent to design, coordinate and implement such a large show.

Fireworks by Grucci operates other shows across the world, including in Hawaii, Serbia and the Bahamas. Each can take up to a year to plan, Cooper said.

“After the smoke clears from this New Year’s Eve, we will start brainstorming with the folks at Las Vegas Events on what kind of theme and whatnot for next year. It’s an entire 12-month process in order to create such a massive entertaining performance that can only be found here on the Las Vegas Strip.”

For full coverage of New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, visit lvrj.com/NYE.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which operates The Venetian.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.

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