10 things to know before celebrating New Year’s Eve on the Las Vegas Strip

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L.E. Baskow

Metro Police officers stage along Las Vegas Boulevard as part of New Year’s Eve preparations on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016.

Fri, Dec 29, 2017 (2 a.m.)

Las Vegas will welcome an estimated 330,000 visitors from across the globe for its New Year’s Eve celebration. For those on the Strip, that means big parties, large crowds, and — without the proper preparation — potentially dangerous circumstances.

Officials have put together tips for making the evening safe and enjoyable. Here’s a list of 10 dos and don’ts to make your New Year’s Eve party a success.

Don’t bring young children

With large crowds, plenty of alcohol, lewd attire and loud noises, the Las Vegas Strip on New Year’s Eve is not only unsavory but unsafe for children.

Don’t bring bags

Metro Police will be restricting bag size to 12 inches by 12 inches to six inches, meaning even many regular-size purses and handbags won’t be allowed. While police won’t be stopping people as they walk onto Las Vegas Boulevard, hundreds of officers will be monitoring for oversize bags, which pose a security threat by being spacious enough for dangerous items and potential explosives to fit, explained Metro spokesman Officer Aden Ocampo-Gomez.

Don’t bring glass bottles — or glass anything

With Strip venues and Las Vegas Boulevard vendors selling only plastic bottles and containers, those who have brought their own bottles or any other items made of glass will be asked to dispose of them, Ocampo-Gomez said.

Do make sure minors under 18 are off the Strip by 9 p.m.

Metro Police are enforcing a curfew of 9 p.m. for minors on the Strip unless they’re accompanied by an adult. That is around when they’ll start closing Las Vegas Boulevard at major intersections such as Flamingo Road and Tropicana Avenue to through traffic.

Do be ready for more widespread security

While Metro Police have been short on details, plans to increase security in the wake of the Oct. 1 mass shooting should mirror enhanced security at the Nov. 12 Las Vegas Rock n’ Roll Marathon. During that event, police commissioned snipers and deployed its new H145 Airbus helicopter to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

Additionally, the Nevada National Guard is stationing more than 350 personnel across the Strip and other popular tourist areas like downtown Las Vegas and McCarran International Airport.

Do celebrate responsibly

Metro Police arrested 18 people on the Strip during last year’s New Year’s Eve celebration for minor charges like disorderly conduct and public intoxication, and an additional 26 people were transported to area hospitals with nonlife-threatening injuries. Those numbers were relatively small considering the large number of party-goers in attendance, put Ocampo-Gomez said police will be on the lookout for people whose actions threaten the safety and well-being of others.

Do party with a group

Large crowds on the Strip provide overwhelming demand for cell towers. With limited mobile service on the Strip, staying in touch with members of a group can be more difficult if you’re not with them. Crowds of people will be crammed together, so if you’re not with your group then, it could be take more than a half-hour to reconnect.

Do be ready for fireworks at midnight

About 150 fireworks per second will explode over the Strip for eight minutes to welcome 2018 to the theme of “Midnight in Vegas.” More than 10,000 electrical circuits will fire over 80,000 loaded pyrotechnic devices on the rooftops of seven casino-resorts: Aria, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, the Stratosphere, Treasure Island and the Venetian.

The mobile Fireworks by Grucci app will provide the synchronized soundtrack in real time, and it will also be played on local radio station 92.3-FM and 97.1-FM.

Don’t drive on your own. Do take Uber or Lyft, taxis or public transportation.

Officials recommend using ride sharing apps, taxis or public transportation to the Strip — with road closures and the masses of people, navigating the road will be a challenge. The Regional Transportation Commission will again offer free rides on its 39 fixed routes from 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

For a complete list of New Year's Eve road closures and restrictions, see here.

Do be aware of other New Year’s Eve options inside venues and away from the Strip

In addition to the Strip, plenty of other New Year’s festivities will be taking place in Las Vegas. Downtown will hold its annual celebration at the Fremont Street Experience with live performances by local bands and music on the Viva Vision canopy. Pop bands Maroon 5 and Foo Fighters as well as rappers 21 Savage, Post Malone, and Gucci Mane are also among performers scheduled to appear at music venues across the valley.

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