Olympic festivities: Partying in Richmond

Richmond pulls out all the stops to vie for "party central" honours.

Credit: Ian Mitchell

Richmond pulls out all the stops in vying for honours as Party Central

The City of Richmond has pulled out all the stops to outdo its big sister north of the Fraser in vying for honours as party central. A vast swath of real estate stretching from city hall to Minorou Park – and a few minutes’ walk from Canada Line’s Brighouse Station – will be converted to a giant indoor-outdoor mall.


The O Zone

With the ironically eco-unfriendly moniker the “O Zone,” the Richmond party will feature the “Ice Gate,” a monumental ice-art installation by B.C.-based artist Gordon Halloran; the “Ice Zone,” a 35-square-metre outdoor ice rink with disco-style interactive light displays; and multicultural events ranging from a bring-your-own-drum World Beat Night to a Pan-Northern celebration of indigenous Arctic cultures.

The O Zone’s main stage will host a bevy of Canadian bands, including hot young acts Bedouin Soundclash, Tokyo Police Club and Wintersleep. Wannabe athletes can try their hand at virtual winter sports at the B.C. Lottery Corp.’s Winter Games Dome, a virtual igloo housing equally virtual games of hockey, skiing and sleighing.


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Holland Heineken House

Anchoring the Richmond party will be Holland Heineken House, serving as home away from home for visiting Dutch athletes and fans. The main hall will serve double duty as a venue for celebrating successful Dutch athletes, and a nightclub capable of hosting 4,000 partygoers. Food will be on hand, ranging from quick snacks to full meals at the Lodge restaurant – all washed down with fresh, cold Heineken draft beer.

Entry to the O Zone is free, though those holding Dutch passports will move to the head of the line at Heineken House.

For more information, visit www.richmondozone.ca.