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‘Everybody stop moving for three minutes’

Flash freeze planned for Valentine’s Day in Village Square



Shh - it's a secret.

While Fancois Goris wants everyone from Whistler to know about the flash freeze event he is planning to orchestrate on Valentine's Day, he wants to make sure it remains a surprise for everyone else not from the resort municipality.

"If everyone in Whistler could join in the freeze, that would be awesome," he said, excited about the prospect of having hundreds of people suddenly freeze on the spot in the middle of the village during the Olympics.

And with that enthusiasm, Goris explained his concept of a flash freeze.

On Sunday, Feb. 14, at 2:30 p.m. dozens of people will mingle with the crowd in Village Square, he said. Then, at around 2:42 p.m., Goris will blow a whistle and everyone in on the flash freeze will suddenly stop moving for three minutes. Then, he'll blow the whistle again and everyone will resume their normal activities.

"I am from Paris and we have done this a couple of times in Paris, and I always wanted to do something during the Olympics," said Goris.

"My friends and I, we are really into doing things like this... I wanted to do it on Sunday because Sunday afternoon is cruisey, but busy. We all work around Village Square so the Village Square is a cool location for it."

Goris and his friends sent out approximately 400 invitations to the flash freeze through Facebook. As of Monday they had 110 people confirmed to participate.

Lots of other people are also thinking about participating, as well as bringing their friends along with them, said Goris.

"It is just 10 minutes of punching out of work," said Goris. "Even if you are working, it doesn't matter. It is just 10 minutes at 2:30 p.m."

The flash freeze will be just one of the Sunday stunts Goris and his friends hope to orchestrate throughout the Olympics. Their events will take place every weekend throughout the Games and will involve a large group of people performing unusual acts in different public areas in Whistler Village.

"We will start with the freeze because it is easy and we will probably get bigger, with dancing and stuff," said Goris. "I have different ideas, and my friends are really keen to do this as well."

Goris has posted links on the Facebook group to a 3,000-person flash freeze in Paris and a 200-person flash freeze in Grand Central Station in New York, as well as links to flash mobs performing musicals in grocery stores and cafeterias and dance routines in train stations.

Goris is not alone in his plans to throw flash mob events during the Olympics.

A separate group in Vancouver is working on a massive group dance for Feb. 13 called "Dancing in the Street."

The non-profit group imagine1day is organizing the event and hopes to teach as many people as possible a secret dance routine. The dance will be performed at an undisclosed location in the city. So far, over 2,000 people have confirmed their attendance through Facebook.