It's party time at Fremont Street Experience
Attendees of previous America’s Party Downtown celebrations at Fremont Street Experience might think the multi-stage macro block party was already the official City of Las Vegas New Year’s Eve event. This year it officially becomes official. It’s hard to imagine topping the gargantuan affair with its 12 bands playing on four stages, dancing DJs in a dedicated EDM area, an early evening countdown from the East Coast on the world’s largest video screen and onstage pyrotechnics. All of this plus Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, hometown heroes The Killers on the Viva Vision canopy, zip lines and zombies set the stage for an explosive Dec. 31.
Luckily, the zombies inside FSE are contained in the Fear the Walking Dead Survival immersive thrill attraction, while the ones outside the gate entrance locations at Main Street, 3rd Street and 4th Street are turned away due to the “No Outside Zombies” policy strictly enforced by the 50-member security detail. That’s good, because as FSE Chief Marketing Officer Paul McGuire recommends, the best way to experience the Experience on New Year’s Eve is on foot, taking in the sights and sounds, and making new party-going friends without having to flee zombies.
Premiere cover bands such as AlterEgo, Empire Records and Zowie Bowie will play danceable, genre-spanning sing-along hits, while Casino Center Boulevard, normally a throughway across Fremont, will be blocked off so a southward-facing stage with a digital backdrop can turn the streets into an open-air nightclub featuring dancing DJs. “If you want a DJ and you want to dance, it’s an amazing vibe,” says McGuire. “That’s a new addition that we introduced two years ago and has been very, very successful. We’ll also have dancers and aerial artists on that particular stage that will kind of display Cirque-style performances to get people all engaged.”
Guests are welcome to fly into the New Year on the SlotZilla zip lines, or check out the multiple environments of Fear the Walking Dead Survival. Animatronics, feature-film worthy set design and effects, and a 3D zombie shoot-’em-up await visitors who prove themselves free of undead infection. No special backpacks or helmets are needed. “It’s a walk-through experience broken up into eight zones,” says McGuire. “It’s meant to play off Season One of Fear the Walking Dead where people are starting to get infected and they don’t know why. … You think you’re safe, but you’re not as safe as you thought.”
You’re completely safe within the FSE party zone though, with state-of-the-art surveillance keeping an eye on things and plainclothes security mixed in among the crowds. Convenient parking is available at the FSE garage (fees apply), and fare ranging from fine dining at Fremont’s casino-hotels to street-level comfort foods provide antidotes to pre-party appetites. This could be the last New Year’s Eve to see the current version of Viva Vision as well, as McGuire says FSE has just been approved for funding that will lead to a $30 million overhaul of the canopy before Dec. 31, 2020, the date of the second annual official City of Las Vegas New Year’s extravaganza.
America’s Party Downtown Fremont Street Experience, 6 p.m. Dec. 31, starting at $35 plus and fee. 702.678.5600