There are very few things that are weirder than Fremont St. at Halloween.
Hawkeye and I headed to Vegas for a well-earned break from everyday life; little did we know just how far from everyday life it would be. Of course, I guess we should have known that the week before Halloween was going to provide an entertaining and very strange experience.
I guess I should start at the beginning:
All of us are told that we should arrive at leat an hour and a half before flight time, we found out why when we got to the airport to check in 50 minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave.
We got stuck behind an accident and couldn’t make it to the airport any sooner, the road we took to get there has no off-ramps or U-turn lanes until you reach the off-ramp for the airport. So, we couldn’t move forward or turn around to try another route, don’t get me wrong I was very sorry for the people who were in the accident, but it made us quite late for checking in.
It turns out that the US Customs check that we have to go through will not allow anyone to come through less than an hour from departure time. We, of course, were ten minutes too late.
A Bucket List trip that wasn’t
So when we asked if we could get on the next flight, we were told that there were no other flights until that evening and they would get us into Vegas about 10 pm. However, if we took a flight to San Francisco and from there to Vegas we could get there about 7 pm, it would cost us a little more but would get us there three hours earlier. We took the San Francisco route so we could at least get in a little earlier, but still so much later than our previous arrival time of 2 pm.
Now, San Francisco is one of my Bucket List trips, and I was excited to see it if only from the air, we were transferring from the San Francisco flight to the Las Vegas flight within an hour. As we had been through customs in Vancouver, we would not have to go through them again when we arrived in San Francisco; we could make the flight to Vegas with about 40 minutes to spare.
We left for San Francisco at 1:45 pm, fifteen minutes before our original flight was supposed to land in Vegas, and three hours later we over the city of San Francisco looking down through the window at the Golden Gate Bridge which was so tiny you could only make it out because of its colour. I tried desperately to get a picture from the plane’s window but couldn’t get anything but a smudge.
So here we are in one of my Bucket List cities, and all I get to see is the airport. Oh well, I guess it stays on the Bucket List.
We caught the flight to Vegas on time, luckily, because I use a wheelchair when I go anywhere ( I am unable to walk long distances), we get loaded first, but it also means that I am usually one of the last off. So, by the time we got our luggage and caught a cab to our hotel, it was 8:30 pm.
We checked in, got upgraded to a better room, didn’t even wait to get unpacked, just dumped the luggage and headed out for some fresh air. We grabbed a couple of drinks from the bar across from our hotel that serves the people on the street and just started walking around having a look.
The first thing we noticed was the fact that a lot of people were in costume, it was still five days to Halloween, but people were in costume now. The costumes varied widely, from those you would expect, like animals and so on, to some very exotic and not entirely PG rated, in fact, there were more R-rated costumes than PG ones. ( I will put the pictures that I took in Vegas at the bottom of the post, if you are uncomfortable with people showing bits and pieces that are usually covered, then I recommend you give them a miss.)
It was only the 26th, but Halloween was well under way on Fremont St.
We wandered up the street, and there was a group on the stage called Frank and the Steins (pronounced StEYEnes). There were six or so people in the band, and they were singing all the weird old songs, like Witchy Woman, Evil Woman (sensing a common thread here), the Monster Mash and many other songs that were Halloween themed. The crowd was dancing along with the music until the top of the hour when the overhead screen becomes active.
The Fremont Street Experience has the largest screen anywhere in the world, it runs for six blocks and covers the entire area of Fremont St. The video and music changes every hour, while we were there, over the four nights, we saw The Doors, Heart, The Who, and the Imagine Dragons.
The screen shows images as the music plays, as you can imagine, a lot of it seemed to be images that are perfect for Halloween. For instance when we were watching Heart, they played Barracuda, Crazy on You, and Magic Man, you can imagine the images that came up, there were Barracuda with all their teeth showing and then skulls floating in the water, for Crazy on You the images were, well, I can’t really explain, it all happens so fast and you are trying to take it all in.
If you want to get some idea of what it was like, I will post a video of The Who and their music and the images that are flashed on the screen at the end of the post. It is about 10 minutes long, but if you have never been and have never seen the Fremont St. Experience, then this will blow you away.
Saturday before Halloween on Fremont St. in Las Vegas
This was probably the strangest night of our stay. We had gone for dinner at Tony Roma’s in the Binion’s Casino, we had a wonderful meal and then played some slots, won a little money, then headed out to Fremont St. to go and listen to Frank and the Steins and see what was weird and strange on the street. Boy, was it strange, almost everyone was in a costume of some sort, even if they had just made it up in their hotel rooms. There were people who went all out, and there were people who were wearing even less than the other nights.
We got up to where the band was playing, and we were surrounded on all sides by the weird and totally odd. There was a man painted entirely in gold paint with nothing on at all; there were show-girls with their big feathered headdresses that had nothing on up top except some paint over the nipples.
There was a guy dressed up like a baby, that had this very odd and scary head. Unfortunately, the people were so pressed all around us that I wasn’t getting an opportunity to take pictures.
The photos I am going to post below are different, but that night, we saw all kinds of things, some good, some funny, some very creepy, like the clowns that showed up as a take off on all the clown stuff that had been happening since August, one was carrying a dripping Machete, and the other was carrying a dripping chain-saw. As you can imagine, security was on them like white on rice; they were not going to permit any nonsense like the things we have all been reading about.
I wish I had time to tell you everything about Fremont St in Las Vegas, how the new zip line runs from one end to the other of the screen that covers the street and people shoot along it like they are flying. So many interesting things but I have some housework to do that I have to get at, so I will stop for now.
As I mentioned before, if you are uncomfortable with nudity or a blatant showing of certain parts of the anatomy, you might want to quit right now.
I will talk to you next week, have a great one. Oh, and if you have any comments on this post, I would love to hear them.
Here is the link for the video of The Who on the big screen:
I decided not to show the really outrageous stuff, so here is the only picture that I am going to share about the odd costumes that I spoke about in the post above.