Whistler continues to transform from ski town into Olympic Village this weekend. The town itself is starting to get dressed in its party clothes with banners popping up, and overlays being draped. It’s all in preparation for the thousands of fans, athletes, coaches, organizers and media that are on their way. Yes, this old-country inspired alpine village is beginning to hear those insightful words from Swedish rockers Europe, (cue the synthesizer) “It’s the Final Countdown….”
This weekend though, you should still be slightly ahead of the crowds. Take advantage.
This is your final full week to cross-country ski at the Whistler Olympic Park. The Olympic Venue closes its doors to the public and opens its trails to the world’s best January 31. The Olympic Park is scheduled to re-open in March, post-Paralympics. Meanwhile, skinny skiers can always get their hearts pumping along Lost Lake Park’s 32-km of cross-country trails. These trails are locals’ favourites because of their easy accessibility to town.
Aside from sport, the Olympics also showcases culture. This weekend starts the Cultural Olympiad performance of the live show NiX. A truly Canadian experience, NiX takes place in the country’s only theatre made entirely of snow and ice. This cold coliseum, located in Lost Lake Park will stage nightly shows. Filled with action and adventure, NiX’s love-story also warms audiences’ hearts…But still, wear layers. Lots of layers.
And it just wouldn’t be “fair dinkum” to report on this weekend, without wishing our Australian mates a Happy Aussie Day! Recognizable by their infectious accents and enthusiasm, summer-avoiding Aussies make up a good percentage of Whistler’s population. January 25 is Aussie Day. Technically, that’s on Monday, but as sure as they drive on the other side of the road down under, some opportunistic Aussies will party on Sunday in sync with their mates back home. Watch for flying rugby balls and flag-wearing streakers. The Longhorn is usually Australia Day headquarters.
Enjoy Whistler’s transformation time this weekend. Oh, and if you you’ve found a way to scrub the chorus of “Final Countdown” from out of your head, please let me know.
Locals Tip #860: Give lots of extra time for your Vancouver to Whistler drive. Counter-flow lanes are now in place, limiting passing opportunities. Also, there’s a noticeable increased police presence. Drive patiently.
If you’re headed to Whistler, live locally or just want to feel the pulse of one of Canada’s coolest towns, please click subscribe (above) to stay one turn ahead of the powder seeking crowd!