Celebrities, parties help Vegas ring in new year

Fireworks explode over Las Vegas Strip casinos just after midnight January 1, 2011.

Fireworks explode over Las Vegas Strip casinos just after midnight January 1, 2011.

Are you ready for 2012? You should be! Vegas brings in the New Year in style with a weekend full of clubbing, fireworks and great food that will make certain that you welcome the new year with a bang.

June Day and her boyfriend Joe Hansen, both of Las Vegas, kiss at the stroke of midnight during New Year's TributePalooza on Jan. 1, 2011. Photo: Leila Navidi, Las Vegas Sun.

June Day and her boyfriend Joe Hansen kiss at the stroke of midnight during New Year's TributePalooza on Jan. 1, 2011. Photo: Leila Navidi, Las Vegas Sun.

Vegas is putting on a big show with “America’s Party,” launching fireworks from the roofs of Tropicana, MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, The Venetian and the Stratosphere. Grucci of New York is producing this free eight-minute fireworks spectacular.

TributePalooza at the Fremont Street Experience will feature a midnight countdown with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, fireworks by Grucci and Steel Panther, Rock Sugar, and 10 other tribute bands performing throughout the evening. Admission on Dec. 31 is $30 per person, with the party running from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

New York-New York’s Bridge Bash lets you party out on the Las Vegas Strip, without having to worry about milling about in the massive crowds. Instead, you’ve already got your spot at the Brooklyn Bridge right in front of the resort. Tickets start at $153.50.

The Old School New Year’s Eve Party at the Las Vegas Hilton Ballroom will include classic music, dancing, party favors and a champagne toast when the clock strikes midnight. Tickets start at $54.95.

Gilley’s at Treasure Island hosts the 2012 Gauge New Year’s Eve party, with a three-hour open bar, food from Gilley’s barbecue kitchen and the resort’s catering department, $5 bull rides, live entertainment and a view of the Strip. Tickets start at $149.


Vegas nightclubs and bars are wild enough on any given night, but when New Year’s Eve falls on a weekend, you know they’re all finding a way to turn it up to 11.

Tao Group will have some of the biggest guests for New Year’s Eve, with Marquee at The Cosmopolitan featuring electronic dance music star Kaskade, Tao at The Venetian featuring Kim Kardashian and Lavo at the Palazzo featuring DJ Samantha Ronson. To maximize your fun, guests can purchase passes that include access to both Lavo and Tao, and a discount at Lavo or Tao restaurant the morning after.

Tao isn’t the only club to see a Kardashian. Tryst at the Wynn will feature Rob Kardashian as host, while Scott Disick and Kourtney Kardashian host at Chateau at Paris Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve.

Paul Oakenfold spins at Rain at the Palms, and parties continue at Ghostbar and Playboy Club, which provide some of the most stunning views of Las Vegas.

Light Group has an impressive selection of venues celebrating the new year: Diablo’s Cantina will be a great place for some shots and a midnight toast, while Brand Lounge, Gold Lounge and Deuce Lounge offer a boutique lounge experience for a New Year’s Eve with a few special friends.

Iyaz puts on a performance at Revolution at The Mirage and LMFAO will “Party Rock” their way into Haze at Aria for New Year’s Eve. Coyote Ugly at New York-New York offers a bash with open bar from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tickets start at $75.

Holly Madison of “Peepshow” fame hosts the evening at Gallery at Planet Hollywood.

Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas hosts New Year’s Eve at Surrender at Encore, while bandmate Fergie hosts at the newly opened 1OAK at The Mirage.

RPM at the Tropicana opens Friday night, and features Mary J. Blige on New Year’s Eve.

Hyde Bellagio has its grand opening on New Year’s Eve with DJ88 spinning, a huge celebratory bash and a beautiful view of the Fountains of Bellagio. Paul Oakenfold headlines Hyde Bellagio’s Jan. 1 party.

Chris Brown is the guest at Pure at Caesars Palace and B.O.B. will be performing at LAX at the Luxor.

Captains of Industry will ring in 2012 at ROK at New York-New York. Tickets start at $125.

I-Bar at the Rio is hosting a New Year’s Eve party with admission and open bar starting at $100, while 51 stories up at VooDoo Lounge, tickets start at $100 as well, or $250 for admission with open bar.

Vanity at Hard Rock Hotel hosts a New Year’s Eve party with DJ Robbie Rivera, with tickets starting at $120. Admission includes open bar from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Crown Nightclub at the Rio features guests Tyga and Bobby Valentino. Tickets start at $128.85.

The Hard Rock Cafe on the Las Vegas Strip features hosted bar and appetizers from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., DJs spinning rock, hip-hop and mashups, a champagne toast at midnight and an up-close view of the Strip. Tickets start at $35.

Insert Coin(s), the “videolounge gamebar” in downtown Las Vegas will celebrate its first New Year’s Eve with drink specials, local bands and a fireworks show launched from the nearby Ogden tower.


Good Charlotte performs at Chateau Nightclub and Gardens on Friday, with brother band members Benji and Joel Madden performing a special DJ set on Saturday to welcome 2012. “Jersey Shore” star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino will be hosting Friday, Dec. 30.

Singer and entertainer Vanessa Williams will perform a special New Year’s Eve show at the Riviera. The show begins at 9:30 and tickets are priced from $55.

The legendary Stevie Wonder starts off the new year at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan on New Year’s Eve. Tickets for the 11 p.m. concert start at $292.50.

Lounge and showroom singer Ricco Diamante lights up the Shimmer Cabaret at the Las Vegas Hilton on New Year’s Eve. Tickets start at $65 per person.

The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel hosts a performance by legendary hard rockers Guns N’ Roses on Friday and Saturday, followed by a New Year’s Day performance by Drake. Tickets start at $95 for GNR and $99.50 for Drake. Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour performs at Body English Friday night, with tickets starting at $35.

John Legend will ring in the New Year at The Pearl at the Palms with a concert, and host an afterparty at Moon.


Tropicana will host the New Year’s Eve Bacio Bash, with Executive Chef Carla Pellegrino’s classic Italian menu. The special night features champagne, surprise DJs, party favors, a special four-course prix fixe menu and private viewing of the Strip fireworks show. It kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and costs $120.

Ri Ra will celebrate the new year twice: In addition to drink and food specials, the Irish pub at Mandalay Place will have a toast at 4 p.m., celebrating the Irish New Year, followed by a midnight toast. Food specials are part of a Titanic-themed menu, including filet mignon Lili, shepherd’s pie and rice pudding.

Jaleo, the tapas restaurant at The Cosmopolitan, features two prix-fixe menu options on New Year’s Eve in addition to the à la carte menus. Option 1 costs $95 per person and features items like ostras con limón gin & tonic, huevos de codorniz con caviar and José’s taco (Ibérico bellota ham with río frío caviar). Option 2 costs $135 per person and features traditional chicken fritters, seared scallops with clementines, lobster and black trumpet mushrooms and much more.

If upscale dining isn’t your cup of tea, Dick’s Last Resort has an New Year’s Eve party with open bar from 9 p.m. to midnight for $75.