Friday, 23 October 2015

Your Free Guide to the Singapore River Festival



If you're already in the know - that's right, the Singapore River Festival has officially started today and will be ongoing over the weekend. The best part of the festival are the numerous performances that you can catch for free. 

I'm planning to make my way there tomorrow so come say hi if you're there as well!

There's so many activities going on that it can be quite dizzying to plan your schedule, but here are some that caught my eye which I'll be checking out tomorrow. Feel free to follow my itinerary if you find it useful!

1. Free River Boat Rides



Here's the good news - Pioneer Generation cardholders can enjoy a complimentary river boat ride when you flash your card at the jetty behind Liang Court. For American Express cardholders, you can also enjoy a free ride, but only on Sunday and Monday. 

2. Shopping at the Riverside Makers Market



When I was in the US, one of my favourite pastimes included heading to the local farmers' market on weekends to check out all the fresh produce and artisan crafts. It seems like there will be food, accessories and even workshops to DIY your own artisan goods, so you could start shopping there from 5pm onwards till the evening before the rest of the night performances begin.

There's food and signature dishes for the festival as well, so you might want to check them out if you're a huge foodie.

3. Puppet Theatre and Storytelling

At about 6.45pm, you can start walking over to the River Promenade outside of UOB for a free puppet show called Hug the Tree - you guessed it, a story about a girl who loves trees and promises to protect them, even after the King orders more wood to build his fortress. The 30-minute play should end at about 7.30pm, where you can stay for good old storytelling (yes, at the same place) about Singapore's myths and urban legends. 

4. Dance - Pole, Salsa and Chinese Dance



At about 8.15pm, you can head back indoors to Clarke Quay's Central Indoor Atrium for an athletic performance by professional pole dancers. Some of these dancers are my friends, and I can assure you, they certainly are a sight to watch when they're on the pole! Having done pole dancing myself, I always admire how they can lift themselves up so easily and perform all these acrobatic stunts effortlessly - when I tried, my whole body was shaking from the sheer energy and strength required for the moves! 



Here's a photo of me when I was still actively doing pole dance in the past - I'm still considering going back to train again but the sport is quite expensive to maintain, so...I haven't yet decided!

After the pole dance showcases are over, you can take a short stroll over to the Fountain Square for a different genre of dance - salsa! I absolutely LOVE salsa for the fun and spontaneity the dance offers (back then, I used to go for salsa socials every Friday). I'm not sure if there will be a social for the experienced salsa dancers (if there is, I'm definitely joining in!) but there's a high chance of that happening. 



For the beginners, you don't have to worry as there will be professional salsa instructors to teach you some basic steps during the event. It will be super fun, I promise!

5. Headline Act - La Fura Dels Baus



Times: 8pm and 10pm
Venue: In front of Riverside Point, Clarke Quay

If you follow my itinerary above, you may want to reserve the best for last, and catch the 10pm showcase which is also the headline act for the festival.

I'm a huge fan of aerial showcases - the performers always make it look so easy but trust me, the art is super difficult and require TONS of arm and core strength (I tried it before and my arms almost died) just to hold on and maintain that balance! This year's showcase by the Spanish group which has also performed at the Olympics before will use their aerial skills to tell the story of Singapore's humble beginnings as a fishing village.

They will be creating a "Human Net", where over 30 performers will hang over the Singapore river. Having once paid over USD 130 just to catch Cirque De Soleil in New York, I can't wait to catch them in action and marvel at their smooth transitions while I continue to dream on about the day I'll become a graceful aerial dancer too (probably not ever). Best part? I won't have to pay over a hundred dollars this time!

6. River Nights

For those who still haven't gotten enough of the festival and all its performances by now, you can head over to the Asian Civilisations Museum for a whole series of nocturnal activities including art installations, building projections and performances to keep you entertained till late.

Unless you have to work at 8am the next day like me (yes, I still have to work even on a Sunday), this would be something you wouldn't want to miss.



There are still tons of other activities I haven't covered, so if you prefer to plan your own itinerary for the festival this weekend, here's where you can get more information.

Singapore River Festival website
Festival Map Guide
Event and Showcase Highlights

Hope to see you there, and don't forget to say hi! ;)

With love,
Budget Babe

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