Las Vegas Strip Prepares for New Year's Eve Bash - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas Strip Prepares for New Year's Eve Bash

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Fireworks being set up on the roof of Treasure Island. Fireworks being set up on the roof of Treasure Island.

LAS VEGAS -- The countdown to 2014 has officially begun in Las Vegas as the valley prepares for the biggest party of the year. It will include concerts, celebrity-hosted parties and a rooftop fireworks display at midnight.

Thousands of people will pour into Las Vegas to take part in the celebration. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says safety is a top priority. Uniformed and plainclothes officers will be monitoring the crowds. The agency also has 37 new surveillance cameras along the Strip from Russell Road to Sahara Avenue.

"So that will obviously give us that many more angles and views of what could be going to help monitor any type of activity, anything that would help raise awareness and would help everybody enjoy their New Year's Eve," said Lt. Roxanne McDaris with LVMPD's events planning section.

On Monday, a low-flying helicopter swept the Las Vegas Strip throughout the morning gathering video of the layout to better help officers.

The valley's largest fireworks show was being set up Monday on rooftops along Las Vegas Boulevard. The bright lights and colors will light up the Las Vegas sky for an eight-minute show.

"In those 10 minutes, you're so absorbed in the program that you forget everything -- even time," said Donna Grucci Butler, Fireworks by Grucci.

The preparation began nearly a year ago and it takes about five days to get the fireworks in place.

"The pyrotechnicians are out here in the field. They are loading the aerial shells, the three-inch aerial shells and loading in the multi-shot boxes that are actually shooting for the display," said Edward Rubio, America's Party producer.

Fireworks by Grucci, which is setting up the show, is in many ways a family business.

"My son's actually one of the crew members out here, as well as my girlfriend," Rubio said.

Every person on the team has a role in putting America's Party together.

"He's actually plugging the cables in right now to the wiring panels and running them back to the command center," Rubio said.

Grucci Butler helps create the party from start to finish. To her, the most important element of the show is the music. Every color and every burst of firework on every building is matched to lyrics.

"We try and put what they're saying in the air and people when they see that, they've never seen that before," Grucci Butler said.

This year's show will feature songs by Rihanna, as well as Pitbull and Christina Aguilera.

"I think it makes everybody forget about their issues. I think when you're looking up to the heavens and you're seeing the beautiful colors and the noise and the excitement of it, your mind just focuses so much on that," Grucci Butler said.

This year, there is a special "count up" to midnight on the side of the Stratosphere Tower. That will start 10 seconds before midnight.

(Channel 8 will carry live coverage of the New Year's Eve celebration in Las Vegas starting at 10 p.m. You can also watch live streaming coverage on 8NewsNOW.com)

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