The Fremont Street Experience in Old Las Vegas: A Must See!
The Carnival Atmosphere of the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas Makes it a Must See Event
by Paul Diamond Blow
The Fremont Street Experience takes place on Fremont Street, which is located a couple miles north of the Las Vegas Strip. The street runs four long blocks, almost a 1/4 mile, and the entire street is covered by a domed canopy with LED lights that displays regular light shows after 7 PM. While I was there I witnessed a "Tribute to Queen" light show as well as a "Tribute to KISS " which ran about ten minutes long a piece and mixed music with some pretty cool video and graphics. The LED shows are indeed awesome to see as they run on the entire 1/4 mile length of the Fremont Street roof. KISS was even there for the KISS event... well, not the real KISS but some crazy, costumed KISS characters who hammed it up and posed for the crowd and did a bang-up job mimicking the real ones. There were scores of other costumed celebrity look-alikes all along Fremont Street as well: lots of Elvis clones, Michael Jackson, Rick James, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.. heck even Tiny Tim was there in attendance. The celebrity look-a-likes are just one of the attractions of the Fremont Experience that make it so much fun and you can have your photo taken with them for a small tip. (I gave Gene Simmons a few bucks to have a photo taken with him and he did appreciate it.)
The Fremont Street Experience also features free concerts that take place nightly on the Fremont Street stage. The night I was there I saw a truly awesome disco group called "Fremont Street Fever" that consisted of a full band, singers and dancers that performed all the great disco hits from the seventies. You better believe I busted a few disco moves and I do believe I even moonwalked, much to the amazement of the crowd. The disco act was followed by a rock band trio that covered classic rock songs by such bands as AC/DC and Journey. There were also many street performers performing an assortment of strange acts all along Fremont street (including a man in a skin tight leopard print leotard doing a series of strange dance moves to music), and that along with the light shows on the domed roof and the free concerts gives the Fremont Street Experience a real carnival atmosphere. Heck, while I was there I felt like I was in a glitzy mall on acid (although I have never actually taken acid, but I have seen Easy Rider, so I know what it's like.)
As far as souvenir shopping goes, there are scores of street vendors up and down Fremont Street selling all sorts of very cool items. I found many bargains on Fremont Street: one vendor sold Las Vegas souvenir tee-shirts -- four for ten dollars -- and I even bought an "I escaped from Mabel's Whorehouse" tee-shirt for only $1.97! That was the deal of the night for me. Seriously, the Fremont Experience is the place to pick up your Las Vegas souvenirs.
The Fremont District in Las Vegas is considered to be "Old Vegas" and is famous for its older retro casinos including the Golden Nugget (with it's famed shark tank, it is also a must see), the Four Queens, the Golden Goose, and my personal favorite casino of the Fremont District, Mermaids. They say the slot machines are more generous in the Fremont District than they are on the Las Vegas strip and I myself won money playing the slots at the Fremont casinos while I lost money at most of the Vegas strip casino I visited. If you plan on playing the slots while in Vegas, the Fremont District is definitely the place to do it.
The Fremont Street Experience happens nightly starting at 7 PM and ends shortly after midnight, after which the crowds disperse and some of the businesses and casinos on the street close down (which seems odd for a 24 hour town like Las Vegas.) I must say I much preferred the crowd at the Fremont Street Experience over the crowds on the Las Vegas strip. The Fremont crowd was more of an "everyday people" crowd while the Las Vegas strip seemed to be overwhelmed with too many Jersey Shore wanna-bees.
All in all, the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas is definitely a must see event and if you are planning a trip to Las Vegas you owe it to yourself to check it out.