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Thousands throng Istana Open House

Some 15,000 people thronged the Istana on Thursday during its Open House to celebrate Labour Day.

SINGAPORE: Some 15,000 people thronged the Istana on Thursday during its Open House to celebrate Labour Day.

Apart from admiring the government building and its lush surroundings, visitors also got to enjoy various activities.

The merry strains of classic songs by the River Valley Concert Band filled the usually quiet Istana grounds.

Active agers also took part in the activities - from zumba dances to drum performances.

They're part of U Live, a club started by the labour movement for members aged 55 years and above to promote active ageing and healthy living.

NADI Singapura, an ensemble comprising youths, showcased their skills on the traditional drums and percussion instruments.

There was also a display of Falabella Miniature horses from the Singapore Zoo.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife Mrs Mary Tan were also present to greet visitors, many of whom were happy to enjoy the Istana experience.

Syahril Idris, a 27-year-old bank analyst, said: "It's been 14 years (since I was last here). The last time I was here, I was a schoolboy. For my friend here, coming from France, I thought it would be a great way (for him) to experience and explore a small side of Singapore."

Amrita Ryan, a 42-year-old accountant, said: "I like the lake, because of the swans. We don't usually get to see swans in Singapore."

Entry to the Istana grounds during the Open House was free for Singaporeans and Singapore permanent residents.
 

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