Fremont Street Experience

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Photo provided by Author

How do I describe the Fremont Street Experience? Well, first of all, Fremont Street is the main street that goes through the Old/Downtown Las Vegas area. It’s where the casinos first popped up and became popular during the Frank Sinatra days.

As for the “Experience,” there’s a free light show called the “Fremont Street Experience,” and the Fremont Street experience (notice no capital) that describes your, well, experience hanging out on Fremont Street. I’ll cover both. The reason we went to Old Las Vegas in the first place is because of the nostalgic feel of the area, and because of the light show.

When we first walked onto the street, I was excited! There were all sorts of flashing, neon lights and I recognized Binion’s, which is one of the casinos left over from back in the day. Okay, not exactly the same casino; the original was called Binion’s Horseshoe, and I’m not sure if they’re owned by the same people, or by Binion for that matter.

There was about 15 minutes before the first light show, which is on every hour, on the hour from like, 8pm to, I don’t know, midnight? We had time to kill, so we began walking down one side of the street. The moment we set forward, I suddenly noticed that it was very crowded. I mean, not REAL crowded, but crowded.

People were weaving through groups of other people and it was just chaos. Everyone was walking every which way, everywhere! Like I said a little while ago, I don’t like crowds. The worst were the people who stopped and stood still in the middle of the sidewalk! They had absolutely no idea that people were trying to move around them. We had to do some maneuvering around individuals ourselves, and it was very uncomfortable. That made me feel anxious.

On top of that, there were street performers everywhere. They were totally sleazy: men dressed in sad, superhero costumes and scantily clad ladies with whips. At one point, I wanted to stand near a pole until the light show began. But the buskers set up camp at nearly all of the poles! It was super-seedy, and this was the cleaned-up version. (The Fremont Street area was cleared of the truly-seedy during its revitalization efforts in 2012, I think.)

As for the Fremont Street Experience the light show, well…I don’t think we missed anything. It was about 5 minutes long, which was fine with me because I didn’t want to be there any longer than I had to. The light show featured lots of lights configured in abstract ways. Or maybe there was some order to them. I don’t know.

Shows are set to music by a variety of musicians such as Green Day, Linkin Park, and the Who. The one we saw was accompanied by Imagine Dragons songs, none of which impressed me. I had never even heard of them until that night lol!

Uncomfortable as it was, I’m glad I went, even if  we only stayed for like, 20 minutes at most. Now I can cross this off my bucket list.

PHOTO: You can see the gigantic, super-long video screen (the largest in the world, I think), on the left side of the picture.


Have you ever been to Fremont Street? What was your experience?

Author:

I hold an MFA in poetry from The Ohio State University. I'm a fiction writer, blogger, wife, pet mom, and Ohio State Buckeye!

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