Top 7 Exciting Activities At Singapore HeritageFest 2016

Rediscover lost icons and stories of Singapore at this year’s exciting heritage festival

By Pamela Chow

Singapore HeritageFest (SHF) 2016 is back for the 13th year, and this time, it’s chock a block full of cool programmes from Apr 29 to May 15.

Uncover lesser-known or forgotten stories of places and people in Singapore with these top five activities happening throughout the three weekends.

Hawkers on the National Museum grounds in the 1960s - Image courtesy of National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board

Good Chance Popiah - Image courtesy of National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board

SV Gunalan from Springleaf Prata Place - Image courtesy of National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board (2)

(Photos: National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board)

1. Relive 1960s street food culture: A Taste of Heritage

When: 29 & 30 Apr, 6pm-10pm
Where: National Museum of Singapore, Front Lawn

Did you know that food stalls used to line the grounds of the National Museum in the 1960s?

Street food culture may not be as strong in Singapore today, but now you can go back in time in experience what it was like. Indulge in popular local dishes such as Indian rojak, wanton noodles and satay as you enjoy live performances on the museum’s front lawn.

You can even learn about the family stories behind the various stalls and how their traditional recipes have been passed down through the generations.

Tip: Come dressed in 1960s vintage wear to one free drink with every purchase of two drinks from the Joo Gwee drink stall.

Image courtesy of LopeLab (5)

Image courtesy of LopeLab (2)

(Photos: LopeLab)

2. See an old road transform into a carnival: Urban Ventures @ Keong Saik Road

When: 30 Apr, from 4pm (Indoor after-party from 10.30pm)
Where: Keong Saik Road

Watch as the historical Keong Saik Road is transformed into an arts carnival with interactive installations, art performances and creative workshops.

In the evening, the streets will come alive with music, drinks and dance performances. Artists will also present artworks that explore the history and lives of people who lived through the ages in Keong Saik.

If you’re interested to know what Keong Saik Road was like before the hubbub of modern cafes, join the heritage tour here.

(Photo: heritagefest.sg)

3. Explore various neighbourhoods with heritage trails

Bedok Guided Bus Tour

When: 7 & 8 May, 9am, 11am, 2pm & 4pm
Where: Bedok Heritage Corner (Area at Bedok Town Plaza, between Bedok Mall and Blk 204)

Through this guided bus tour, experience a slice of history in the East, from its kampong lifestyle and food markets to military lookouts and old seawalls found far inland today.

This event costs $5 per person and registration is required. Visit here for more information.

Bidadari Heritage Trail

When: 7 & 8 May, various timings
Where: Woodleigh Station

Be among the last few to capture memories of the Bidadari grounds, which are now a temporary park and bird sanctuary, before the area is redeveloped into a residential estate.

This event is free but registration is required. Visit here for more information.

Geylang Serai Heritage Trail

When: 7 & 8 May, various timings
Where: Various meeting points

Journey through Geylang Serai, one of the oldest Malay Settlements in Singapore, and visit the different places of worship in the area. For a taste of heritage, you can also make a pit stop at the famous Malay, Indian or Chinese stalls in the vicinity.

This event is free but registration is required. Visit here for more information.

4. Embark on food trails around Singapore

Balestier Food and Heritage Trail

When: 07 May to 08 May, various timings
Where: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Be a “local tourist” for a day and experience the charm and colours of Balestier, an area that has seen many changes and yet still reminds one of the yesteryears in Singapore.

Participants will get to explore the various heritage sites and visit famous eating spots in the precinct. A surprise door gift with delectable goodies will be given to each participant at the end of the tour.

This event costs $5 per person and registration is required. Visit here for more information.

Changi Road Food Trail

When: 7 May, 10am & 2pm
Where: 51 Old Airport Road

The old Changi Road Food Centre is home to a variety of traditional local dishes adored by Singaporeans.This trail explores the rich history and heritage behind some of the oldest Hokkien and Teochew stalls in Singapore – some of which have been around for 50 years.

Discover the fascinating stories behind each stall, as well as their traditional cooking methods.

This event is free but registration is required. Visit here for more information.

Jurong West Food Trail

When: 7 May, 2pm
Where: Jurong West Food Centre (Rojak Stall), Blk 503 Jurong West Street 52

The Jurong West Food Trail explores the conservation of Singapore’s unique hawker heritage and sheds light on foods that are influenced by the different races in Singapore.

Participants on this food heritage trail will explore the Jurong West district in search of these foods, and learn about the histories behind unique local dishes and their hybrid nature.

This event is free but registration is required. Visit here for more information.

Check out more food trails at heritagefest.sg/events.

Image courtesy of Singapore HeritageFest (7)

Image courtesy of Singapore HeritageFest (9)

(Photos: Singapore HeritageFest)

5. Go on an Ubin adventure

SHF 2016 has organised a bunch of cool activities that will draw you to the ulu reaches of Pulau Ubin.

Ubin Experience Tour
When: 14 & 15 May, various timings
Where: Pulau Ubin (depart from various meeting points)

This tour brings participants on an exciting trail through Pulau Ubin’s little-known sites via an island taxi van. Places include the mysterious German Girl Shrine, a unique Tudor-style house with a fireplace and the beautiful Pekan Quarry lake.

This tour is recommended for participants above five years old, and is approximately 1.5 hours long. $18 per person (includes shuttle bus, two-way bumboat to Ubin, island taxi van and tour).

Registration is required. More information here.

Movies Under The Ubin Stars

When: 14 May, 7.30pm
Where: Pulau Ubin Wayang Stage

Did you know that quarry coolies and island residents used to enjoy outdoor movie screenings as part of their leisure activities on Pulau Ubin?

Bring a chair or picnic mat and join the island’s residents in enjoying films with a distinctive Ubin flavour.

Film screenings: Dahdi, a short film by Kirsten Tan, Winner of Best Southeast Asian short film at the 25th Singapore International Film Festival; and the debut of an unnamed new film about Pulau Ubin by Royston Tan, commissioned by the National Museum for SHF 2016.

This event is free but registration is required, and does not include ferry ride ($3 per way payable at the terminal). Visit here for more information.

(Photo: heritagefest.sg)

Music Performances @ Ubin

When: 14 May, 5pm-7.30pm & 9pm-9.30pm
Venue: Pulau Ubin

Enjoy an evening of free performances by local artistes as they share their stories and music of Pulau Ubin. The SHF – Ubin Access Pass available at $10 (includes two-way boat and bus rides). Children above one year old require a valid pass.

More information available here.

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(Photo: NUS Baba House)

6. Get a detailed tour of the restored Baba House

When: 30 Apr & 6, 13 & 14 May, various timings
Where: Baba House

Discover more about the ornate NUS Baba House in this hour-long tour. Step into a Straits Chinese family home straight out of the 1920s, furnished with heirlooms and various ceramics from its previous owners and other donors.

The third floor has been converted to an art gallery for exhibitions that explore the community and neighbourhood from different perspectives.

This event costs $5 per person and registration is required. Visit here for more information. For more restored heritage building tours, see here.

Image courtesy of Gillman Barracks

6. Enjoy art and film screenings: Art Day Out at Gillman Barracks

When: 14 May, 2pm – 8pm
Where: Gillman Barracks

Art Day Out is a Gillman Barracks open house day event, and this year’s will be a special collaboration with SHF 2016.

Highlights include a series of indoor film screenings – in Gillman Barracks’ former cinema space run by the Army Kinema Corporation – centered on the precinct’s history as an army barracks.

Image courtesy of Dunman High School

(Photo: Dunman High School)

7. Visit Dakota Crescent before it is gone: A Journey Through Time – Remembering Dakota Crescent

When: 1 May, 9am & 10am
Where: Mountbatten MRT Station Exit B

Other than Rochor Centre and Fish & Co Glasshouse, another icon of Singapore will soon vanish.

Take a stroll along Dakota Crescent Estate and relish the memories of yesteryear. In this trail, student guides from Dunman High School will lead you on a nostalgic journey through the historically significant precinct.

This event costs $5 per person and registration is required. Visit here for more information.

SHF 2016 will take place from Apr 29 to May 15. For more information, visit heritagefest.sg.

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