It might well be the largest celebrity-studded New Year’s Eve celebration on record! There will probably be more stars partying on the Strip tonight than at any time previously -- and certainly more than in any other city in America!
It truly is a staggering star lineup to match the incredible “America’s Party” fireworks display scheduled to thrill more than 290,000 revelers expected to pack Las Vegas Boulevard this evening. It will be the first time that the fabulous fireworks display will not be fired from hotel rooftops, but instead from parking garages and even ground-level sites along the Strip.
Please remember that our Nevada Highway Patrol and local police officers will probably close the Strip on-off ramps on the I-15 expressway about 5 p.m. this afternoon, and an hour later will shut the Strip to keep it for pedestrians only. In addition, please note that the Strip itself will even be cut off to pedestrians for an hour from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. from the Palazzo-Treasure Island corner intersection to the south end of The Mirage. That’s when stunt king motorcycle daredevil Robbie Knievel makes his Fox TV special jump across the exploding Mirage volcano! Police expect the Strip to be reopened about 5 a.m.
There also will be fireworks downtown, but of a special indoors kind, so they can be exploded under the Fremont Street Experience canopy. Expect our Merry Mayor of Mirth Oscar Goodman to lead the midnight countdown there as tribute bands re-create the music of Billy Joel, David Bowie, KISS, The Eagles, Queen, Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones all night long.
Now here’s the Royal Robin Rundown of the stars, their shows and their parties. In an attempt to be fair, I’ve put them in alphabetical order for you:
*Recording star AKON has a 10 p.m. concert at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay and then promises to handle the midnight countdown as the finale of the show.
*Dancing With the Stars finalist LANCE BASS will be joined by actress and reality TV star DENISE RICHARDS and rapper DMC for their party at Prive in Planet Hollywood. Expect fellow DWTS dancers Cheryl Burke and Kym Johnson to escort Lance as actor brothers Daniel and Billy Baldwin escort Denise on the 9 p.m. red carpet. A table of six starts at $3,500.
*Sexy CARMEN ELECTRA, who is currently the cover girl beauty on the 55th anniversary issue of Playboy, will serve as mistress of ceremonies at Tao in The Venetian and jumping between there and sister nightclub Lavo in the adjoining Palazzo. Expect to see Mena Suvari, David Spade, Jesse McCartney, Antonio Sabato Jr., Nicholas Gonzales and Pauly Shore, all of whom have made reservations for the Vegas fun fiesta.
*The Duchess herself, three-time Grammy Award-wining artist FERGIE, will reign supreme and solo without her Black Eyed Peas in a special concert at The Venetian almost the moment she exits a private jet flying in from L.A., where she will have broadcast into the ABC Dick Clark Times Square special starring Ryan Seacrest. Everybody will be “Fergalicious” and “Glamorous” when Fergie takes a breath before handling the midnight countdown celebration at Lavo in the Palazzo.
*Expect stunt riders Robbie Madison and Rhys Millen to show up at DJ JAZZY JEFF’s party at two Paris Las Vegas clubs, Risque and Ah Sin. It’s part of the New Year’s Nation simultaneous celebrations taking place in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver and Atlanta, across four time zones and all linked by live satellite. That means Vegas revelers will get to see reunited drummer Travis Barker and DJ AM back together with their special duet set.
*All three of the sexy Kardashian sisters will ensure that the party is at max appeal when they host and call the midnight countdown at LAX in the Luxor. KIM, KHLOE and KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN will hold court on the raised VIP stage area, and expect Believemagician Criss Angel with gal pal Holly Madison, his mom and her parents to be up there, too. A table for four starts at $2,000.
*Rocker KID ROCK does triple-duty on his extended stay at the Palms. First he will perform at The Pearl Concert Theater there and before midnight will ascend to the Playboy and Moon nightclubs to oversee the midnight madness. The musician will then rest up a couple of days before a reprise of his concert back at The Pearl on Saturday night.
*While Paris Hilton is away in Australia ringing in the New Year as the first country on the planet to see 2009, former boyfriend and Good Charlotte rocker BENJI MADDEN will be the guest DJ from 11 p.m. through 2 a.m. and handing out thousands of dollars every hour.
*Is HEIDI MONTAG really married to The Hills co-star SPENCER PRATT? Nobody seems to know whether it’s just a reality TV series dream sequence or a real runaway elopement. Maybe tonight at the stroke of midnight, they’ll make their first New Year’s resolution to fess up and tell the truth? The kids are certainly behaving as if they are on their honeymoon. Table service for four at Christian Audigier in Treasure Island starts at $1,450, and I’m hearing both sets of parents are here for the long weekend to follow. What could that mean, wedding watchers?
*Former teen idols and now all grown up as old ’uns, they are still and will always be known as NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK. Newly reunited DONNIE WAHLBERG and DANNY WOOD are the celebrity hosts for midnight-party favors at Jet in The Mirage, and video DJ Roonie “G” promises he’ll mix up a special set from NKOTB’s new CD.
*It doesn’t matter what day or night of the year it is, but TONY ORLANDO fans will always “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ’Round the Old Oak Tree” for him. He stars in concert at South Point and then leads the midnight countdown.
*Pop princess PINK will be under careful watch after her Funhouse Tour performance in ex-husband Carey Hart’s Wasted Space at the Hard Rock Hotel. Everybody’s hoping they’ll kiss on the joint midnight countdown, and just maybe it will spark reconciliation. After all, the hottest divorced couple on Earth both admit that they still love each other.
*You’ll be forgiven if you celebrate New Year’s Eve back in 1960s style when eight-man SHA NA NA prove that rock ’n’ roll is here to stay at the Cannery. The first show is at 7:30 p.m., and the 10:30 p.m. show will close with the midnight welcome to 2009.
*Smooth-as-silk R&B singer USHER is the superstar host at the Bank in the Bellagio. He’s got a countdown and champagne toast all set for midnight, and his wife is with him for the first kiss of the New Year! There’s a two-bottle minimum at the $1,000+ tables, but the third Dom Perignon champagne is on the house.
*Last but absolutely not least: Fall Out Boy’s PETE WENTZ and his less-than-a-yearlong wife ASHLEE SIMPSON-WENTZ make their very first appearance since the recent arrival of their first baby Bronx Mowgli. (Click HERE for their Christmas Day greeting and the first photo of their baby son.) They will kick off a rocking red-carpet appearance at Pure in Caesars Palace with the Kardashians and Heidi and Spencer at 8:30 p.m. before they all go their separate ways to dinner in the Luxor, Treasure Island and Caesars Forum Shops. Pete and Ashlee will be a duo for the club-wide countdown from the patio overlooking the sizzling Strip skyline to watch the Caesars location fireworks that will be set off from the parking lot alongside The Colosseum. Tables at Pure for Pete and Ashlee’s party start at $3,500 for six people.
Let’s hope I haven’t missed anybody!
Vegas DeLuxe has a 10-plus team of writers, photographers and videographers out and about tonight to cover it all. By the time you shake off your fuzzy head tomorrow, our photo reports will be posted right here so you don’t miss any of the excitement on the very first day of a brand New Year!