Robson Square, LiveCity Downtown, Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion & More – Free Olympic & Paralympic Events Continue in March

Robson Square Celebration Site will reopen March 8 - 21 for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics

Last night, my girlfriends and I got together for dinner and the conversation kept straying back to the one thing all of Vancouver is talking about: Olympic withdrawal.

After 17 amazing days of excitement, world-class sports, record-breaking numbers of Canadian gold medals, and seemingly endless nightly parties—both inside international houses and on the streets of downtown Vancouver—it’s hard to adjust to a city that’s gone back to “normal.”

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Robson Square, LiveCity Downtown, Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion & More – Free Olympic & Paralympic Events Continue in March

LiveCity Downtown vs. LiveCity Yaletown: Is One Better than the Other?

Inside LiveCity Downtown

Before the Olympics, downtown Vancouver’s two LiveCity venues—LiveCity Yaletown and LiveCity Downtown—were touted as the place to be, each home to major pavilions, huge high-def screens, and main stages loaded with live nightly entertainment. Last week, while the sun was shining, both celebration sites were packed, and getting in to either meant waiting in some of the longer Olympic queues.

Even with the rain, which has shortened wait times during the day, both LiveCitys are still attracting major crowds, but wait times are much better.

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LiveCity Downtown vs. LiveCity Yaletown: Is One Better than the Other?

LiveCity Yaletown: One of Downtown Vancouver’s Hottest Olympic Party Spots

Main entrance to LiveCity Yaletown, at Drake & Pacific Blvd

When I decided to make my way over to LiveCity Yaletown today—one of the hottest FREE Olympic events in Vancouver—I was worried about the wait times. Not only was the all-important quarterfinal match between Team Canada and Russia airing there at 4:30pm (and sure to attract crowds), I had heard that getting in could take hours.

I got there around 4pm and—presumably because of the rain—got totally lucky: The infamous entrance line moved so fast I didn’t have to wait at all. (One benefit to the return to seasonal rain: shorter event lines!)

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LiveCity Yaletown: One of Downtown Vancouver’s Hottest Olympic Party Spots

ValleyFest – North Vancouver’s Olympic Celebration Site

ValleyFest's main square, complete with big screen and main stage

Like West Vancouver’s Spirit Square, North Vancouver’s ValleyFest demonstrates that community spirit for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics is vibrant and alive well outside Vancouver city limits.

ValleyFest, which, like the Olympics, runs until February 28, 2010, is a family-oriented event packed with things to do for fans of all ages. It takes place at Lynn Valley Village, a collection of small boutique cafes and shops with a central square perfect for live music and gathering to watch the games.

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ValleyFest – North Vancouver’s Olympic Celebration Site

Inside Ontario House: Meeting BC Premier Gordon Campbell & More

I’m not surprised Remy waited over two hours today to get into the popular Russia Sochi House; when I stepped off the SkyTrain at Science World (host of Sochi House), I was amazed by the huge crowds stretching from there all the way to BC Place.

A major destination for those crowds was Concord Place, located between Science World/Sochi House and BC Place along the False Creek waterfront. Concord Place is a major Olympic hub, home to the Molson Canadian Hockey House, the Saskatchewan Pavilion, the Quebec House (La Maison du Quebec), and the Ontario House Pavilion.

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Inside Ontario House: Meeting BC Premier Gordon Campbell & More

West Vancouver Spirit Square – West Vancouver’s Olympic Celebration Site

West Vancouver Spirit Square

The action at Cypress Mountain has been outstanding this week—including Alex Bilodeau’s first Canadian Gold Medal on Canadian soil and today’s Gold Medal for Mielle Ricker in Women’s Snowboard Cross—and so has the Olympic spirit at West Vancouver’s main celebration site, the West Vancouver Spirit Square.

The West Vancouver Spirit Square has loads of FREE family fun and activities throughout the Olympic Games, from February 10 – 28, 2010.

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West Vancouver Spirit Square – West Vancouver’s Olympic Celebration Site

Free Olympic Parties: Robson Square / GE Plaza

Robson Square Celebration Site

Along with LiveCity, downtown Vancouver’s Robson Square Celebration Site—located right in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Robson Street—is one of the Olympic party places: Robson Square is packed with FREE daily, family-friendly entertainment throughout the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, February 12 – 28, 2010.

My partner and I went to Robson Square today to get a taste of the action before tonight’s Opening Ceremonies. There were loads of people and tons of live entertainment (plus free ice skating, too).

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Free Olympic Parties: Robson Square / GE Plaza