September 17, 2017 to November 4, 2017: Starts at 7 PM
By Steve Beauregard (Updated September 21, 2017)
The Freemont Street Light show times are easy to remember: the show starts on the hour, every night starting at 7 PM, and going until Midnight most nights. The last show is 1 AM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
This starting time will change, based on the time of year and when dusk starts, however the final show always starts at 1 AM on weekend nights.
Officially called the Fremont Street Experience, the light show is the most visible part of downtown’s concentrated entertainment efforts to bring in (and keep) those visitors who may be inclined to spend all their time at the strip.
Entertainment options downtown include a regular series of free concerts, (some by some pretty impressive names), and a thrilling zip line that takes riders high over the heads of the tourists below.
The Fremont Street light show itself runs about six minutes in length, and is one of the coolest things to do while in Las Vegas. Even better, it’s completely 100% free (you don’t even have to struggle through a 5 hour time share presentation to see it).
Fremont Street Viva Vision Light Show Times & Schedule
Here’s the (almost) exact schedule for the light show times:
November 5th, 2017 (the day we move the clocks back for daylight savings) to March 11, 2018 (the day we “Spring forward): Starts at 6 PM
From March 11, 2018 to mid-September 2018: First show starts at 8 PM
As I mentioned earlier, the show ends at midnight on weekdays, however during the busier summer season, from Mid-May to Mid-September, the last show starts at 1 AM, every single day of the week.
More about the Fremont Street Light Show
For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, the experience is an enormous light and sound show broadcast on the largest television screen in the world.
The screen is 90 feet above the ground, on a high one-half circle canopy that covers four entire blocks of Fremont Street from 4th Street to Main Street, at the Plaza Hotel and Casino. (You may remember the Plaza as being the place that “Biff” owned in one of the “Back to the Future” movies).
This downtown Las Vegas light show has been popular since its inception in December of 1995. Casino owners had fretted over the erosion of their business to their glitzier cousins a little south on the Strip, and wanted a unique attraction in their own right to bring the tourists back downtown. According to official tourism stats, 25,000 people each day watch the shows. 18,000 of them suffer dangerous neck injuries from staring up above at the show.
Ok, I made that last part up, but the Fremont Street light show is addictive. Both the sound and graphics light up downtown in a visual and audio display that leaves you with one of those, “only in Vegas” moments. I know personally, I’ve actually left the craps table at the Golden Gate to venture outside to check out the canopy show. And trust me, it takes a lot for a degenerate gambler like me to leave the table.
Although the overhead canopy was built in 1995, the entire system underwent a $17 million dollar upgrade that was completed in June of 2004. The “Viva Vision” screen is said to be the largest projection screen in the world. In fact, over 12 million LED lights work their magic during each performance, accompanied by a sound system that has over a 1/2 million watts.
There is a constantly rotating selection of shows, but some popular standouts (like the “American Freedom” shows) always seem to be in the mix. A recent random Fremont Street show schedule showed tributes to Queen, the Doors, Bon Jovi, and Don McLean – and that was all just on one night.
Fremont Street Experience parking
On the corner of Fremont Street and 4th Street, attached to the Walgreens Store on the eastern end of Fremont, is a 1,430 square foot parking structure called the Fremont Street Experience Parking Garage.
The last update from Scott, (who works at the Fremont Street Exprience and who hosts a great and fun podcast called “Vital Vegas” in addition to the blog of the same name), stated that hourly rates at this garage are $3 per hour, with a daily maximum rate of $12.
(Photos courtesy of Paul K, and Laila Goubran via Flickr).