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Olympic Outsiders

If you can't be inside the Olympic Games, then follow Seattle Times producers, reporters, videographers and Olympic fans as we take you to the streets of Vancouver, B.C., to show you what's happening on the ground and give you a taste of the scene swirling around the 2010 winter games.

February 17, 2010 at 4:24 PM

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Video | A tour of the Olympic Holland Heineken House

Posted by Stephanie Clary

Last night, videographer Genevieve Alvarez and I headed to the Richmond O Zone celebration site to check out the Holland Heineken House.

Why? Because we heard the Dutch Olympic Committee hosts "some of the liveliest parties" during the Games.

The video above captures the pale-lager-influenced party, but here's a quick summary of what you need to know about the Holland House, including which low-cost, high-impact souvenir you can buy inside:

  • The Dutch get priority: a Dutch passport is a fastpass into the venue (Minoru Arena). Not from the Netherlands? Expect a bit of a wait — the line outside is long and snakes around in an amusement-park-ride way.

  • Speaking of the venue: it usually houses two ice hockey rinks, which have been removed during the Games. This means junior-high-like bathrooms but also the opportunity to snag breathing room, as only 3,500 people are allowed in the large space.

  • There are rows of Heineken on tap: but I'm sure that's what you assumed. You can also sample Dutch cuisine in a loft restaurant or the main bar area.
  • Expect live Dutch entertainment each night: the regular schedule is made up of a house band (De Coronas), a Dutch artist (last night was Jan Smit) and a DJ. The stage is enormous, and the standing-room area transforms into a dance floor with each song. Expect a special program and athletes when there is a gold medal to celebrate.

  • House band De Coronas: is a silly group, but highly amusing and energetic. The lead singer stands on a platform in the middle of the dance floor, sometimes making fake phone calls to Elton John. He also plays the air guitar while his bandmates cover an odd mix of artists including AC/DC and Neil Diamond. And there are on-stage serenades. The crowd loved them.
  • There is no dress code: at least, it didn't seem like it because we spotted girls in Juicy sweats and men with ice skates glued on their hats among the otherwise nightlife-casual crowd. Also spotted: bright orange robes, clogs and pants.

  • The best orange accessory: is on sale in the Holland House for $15.

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We asked a few of the Dutch attendees to explain the hat: "It's cheap and ugly. That's what Dutch people like, I think."

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