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TOP FIVE HOLIDAY SEASON ACTIVITIES IN RICHMOND, BC

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Richmond, BC, Canada (November 22, 2010) - Deck the halls and crank the Christmas tunes - the holiday season has arrived and Richmond, BC is abuzz with festive spirit. Here are the top five reasons to visit Richmond this holiday season:

1. Celebrate Christmas in the Historic Fishing Village of Steveston
For family fun that doesn't cost a penny, bring the kids to the 7th Annual Christmas in Steveston Village. This village-wide party kicks off the holiday season on Sunday, November 28 with a magical celebration that transforms this historic village into a festive fairytale of sparkling lights and decorations. After watching Santa arrive by boat at Fisherman's Wharf, walk to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site to snap your picture with Santa. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of Steveston before watching the lighting of the grand Sequoia tree in Fisherman's Park. Then carol sing the night away while enjoying festive entertainment, late night shopping and special menus for holiday dining. Come back to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site on December 3, 10 and 17 at 7:00 pm to watch Christmas movies in the specially-transformed Holiday Cinema.
www.tourismrichmond.com

2. Shop 'til you drop on an international shopping excursion
Is Jack Frost nipping at your nose? Warm up indoors at one of Richmond's five shopping centres. For shopping with an Asian twist, head to Richmond's three Hong Kong style malls: Parker Place, Yaohan Centre and Aberdeen Centre. You'll find perfect stocking stuffers among the $2 treasures at the famous two-story Japanese Daiso Store at Aberdeen Centre, which carries everything from origami paper and sake gift sets to pet accessories and kitchen gadgets. Among the 370+ shops you'll find at Lansdowne Centre and Richmond Centre are your favourite Western brand chain stores selling electronics, fashions, furnishings, home décor and more. Or if you're on the hunt for unique, handmade gifts, head to the Historic Fishing Village of Steveston. This picturesque seaside village is home to one-of-a-kind independent stores and boutique shops. On Saturday, November 27 the Steveston Christmas Craft Fair at the Steveston Community Centre will feature an endless selection of handcrafted items created by talented local craftspeople. Many of these handmade treasures are also available at the Steveston Winter Market held Sundays bi-weekly at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. www.parkerplace.comwww.yaohancentre.comwww.aberdeencentre.comwww.lansdowne-centre.comwww.richmondcentre.comwww.exploresteveston.com

3. Enjoy a warm winter meal at one of Richmond's 350+ authentic Asian eateries
Say goodbye to sugary shortbread and hello to Vietnamese noodle soups, Taiwanese stews and spicy Thai curries. With a population that is 65 per cent Asian-Canadian and more than 350+ authentic Asian restaurants to choose from, in Richmond 'tis always the season to enjoy some of the finest Asian cuisine that you can find this side of the Pacific. Richmond is famously home to "the best Chinese food outside of China" but tasty cuisines from all over Asian are found on Alexandra Road, Richmond's so-called "Food Street." Eat your way through the 200+ Asian eateries along "Food Street" to discover why Asian foods such as a steaming hot bowl of Malaysian Laksa soup are among the true joys of winter. www.allinrichmond.com

4. Try speed skating at the Richmond Olympic Oval
Ice skating is the quintessential Canadian Christmas activity, and where better to skate than at the newly transformed Richmond Olympic Oval. Now in its post-Olympics legacy format, the Richmond Olympic Oval's former ice surface for long track speed skating events now offers six full-sized hardwood gymnasium courts, a 200-metre running track and two international-size hockey rinks. Visitors can obtain a $13.50 day-pass ($10.50 for seniors 65+ and youth under 26; $8.50 under 19; $5.00 under 13) for the Richmond Olympic Oval which offers unlimited access to participate in all drop-in activities including figure skating, hockey, and speed skating on the two ice rinks. Skate and helmet rentals are available for an additional fee, and skaters have the choice between using figure skates, hockey skates or speed skates. Stay tuned for more information on special holiday-themed public skate sessions at the Richmond Olympic Oval in the weeks leading up to Christmas - dates and times will be posted on their website shortly. www.richmondoval.ca

5. Find the perfect Christmas tree
What could be more festive and fun than choosing your own Christmas tree directly from a farm? A trip to an open-air tree U-pick is the perfect start to the holiday season, especially for families living in busy urban centres. In Richmond, which is home to 247 farms of all varieties, you will find a vast selection of U-choose and U-cut Christmas trees, including pre-cut Fraser, Grand, and Noble Fir trees as well as the more environmentally-friendly living, rooted tree varieties. www.tourismrichmond.com

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About Tourism Richmond
Tourism Richmond is a non-profit, membership driven destination marketing organization (DMO). The primary mandate of Tourism Richmond is to enhance awareness about the destination through sales and marketing initiatives and by providing excellent visitor and member services. Ultimately, Tourism Richmond's goal is to increase economic activity related to tourism for the City of Richmond and all stakeholders. Tourism Richmond is British Columbia's 4th largest DMO.