LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The tumultuous year of 2020 came to end with a smaller and more subdued New Year’s Eve celebration in Las Vegas — but there was still a spectacular fireworks show to usher in 2021 .
At midnight, fireworks were shot from the rooftop of the Plaza Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas. It was the only fireworks show in the tourist corridor and the first time in years that fireworks were not set off from the top of several hotels along the Las Vegas Strip.
As in past years, a portion of the Las Vegas Strip was closed to traffic to allow for pedestrians to gather in the street and celebrate. Normally, thousands of people fill Las Vegas Boulevard but this year the crowd was much smaller.
It was also a quieter night for the 1,400 police officers working the tourist corridor. Metro Police reported 36 arrests on the Las Vegas Strip and Fremont Street and of those arrests 10 were for felonies and 26 for misdemeanors.
Hours before celebrations began, the Fremont Experience scrapped plans that would have allowed visitors to pay a $25 entry fee. Instead, the street was restricted to only hotel guests at its properties.
KLAS-TV, Channel 8 aired a 3.5 hour special “Las Vegas New Year’s Eve Countdown to 2021” to 14 cities in seven states. The show was hosted from Las Vegas’ newest resort Circa, which is located in downtown Las Vegas and featured a New Year’s Eve show with Zowie Bowie but no audience.
CELEBRATING FOR A CAUSE
The show also focused on helping those facing difficult times due to the pandemic. Viewers had the opportunity to give back to local food banks by donating to the Souper Bowl of Caring which is a movement working across the nation to tackle hunger in local communities. Donations are still being accepted.
Since the organization started 30 years ago it has raised more than $163 million to feed the nation’s hungry. Any donation you make goes directly to a food bank in your community.