Fancy hopping on and off a bus to explore the farms at Kranji? How about staying put inside one to catch a theatre show – or checking out a musical about hawkers at Bedok Hawker Food Centre?
This year’s Singapore Heritage Festival (SHF) will be a special Singapore Bicentennial edition held over four weekends from Mar 15 to Apr 7.
The popular annual event organised by the National Heritage Board will be featuring tours, performances, trails and open houses all around Singapore, with Kranji, Bedok, Telok Blangah, the new Armenian Street Park and Kampong Glam as the main highlighted locations.
There will also be a series of light projections called Find Your Place In History, which will be located around the city centre and will explore lesser-known stories. The festival is also introducing an islandwide exhibition called Ride And Discover, where bus stop panels at over almost 100 bus stops across four routes are set to become mini-exhibition spaces.
“2019 is a special year for Singapore. As we commemorate our bicentennial, it is natural that as the heritage festival of Singapore, we tell the stories that have collectively brought us to where we are today,” said Jervais Choo, programmes director for the festival.
“Our exhibitions and programmes show that heritage is all around us if you know where to look. We have continued to partner organisations, communities and fellow Singaporeans to uncover these lesser-known tales, and to re-discover places and stories and make the connections between our people and spaces.”
Kicking things off on the first weekend are a two-day cultural festival at Kampong Glam and the new Armenian Street Park, with a cultural fest at the former’s Malay Heritage Centre and a street party by Peranakan Museum at the latter. There will also be guided tours of Alexandra Hospital, and a theatrical production titled Buses And Roads – which will take place inside a bus. There will also be art installations around NHB’s various institutions such as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and Indian Heritage Centre.
Bedok – and food – take centrestage on the second weekend, which includes Cake Theatrical Productions’ Makan Dreaming, a musical that looks at hawker culture from the 1960s to the present and will be performed at Bedok Square. Elsewhere, there’s a photo exhibition on hawker culture; Peranakan cuisine sampling and a guided food tour by Fat Fuku (aka regular CNA Lifestyle contributor Annette Tan) and Johor Kaki, respectively; and a Teochew opera performance by the Nam Hwa Opera and Teochew Musical Ensemble.
The maritime history of Singapore will be the focus of the third weekend around Telok Blangah, including a 1920s-themed A Black And White Voyage performance at the Temenggong House; an exhibition about Telok Blangah itself at Harbourfront Centre; and guided tours of the Danish Seamen’s Church at Mount Faber Park. Closer to town, Asian Civilisations Museum is holding a festival and an exhibition on Singapore’s tea culture.
To round up SHF on the final weekend, visitors can drop by the National Museum to check out an exhibition on food packaging, which will also include a food and craft market and film screening. Alternatively, they can head up north for guided tours of Sungei Buloh or take advantage of Foodpass, a self-guided tour of the farms in Kranji via shuttle buses.
The Singapore Heritage Festival will run from Mar 15 to Apr 7. Online registration for programmes start on Mar 5. For more details visit www.heritagefestival.sg.