Visit old film sets and have a feast at heritage festival

The Empress Place Food Centre along the Singapore River was opened in 1973 and demolished 10 years later. Hawker stalls will make a comeback in the area during this year's Singapore Heritage Festival.
The Empress Place Food Centre along the Singapore River was opened in 1973 and demolished 10 years later. Hawker stalls will make a comeback in the area during this year's Singapore Heritage Festival.PHOTO: NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF SINGAPORE

Former Mediacorp centre one of four venues for this year's edition

Hawker stalls will line the Singapore River once again, harking back to the 1970s and early 1980s when Empress Place Food Centre was the epicentre of sizzling satay and cooling coconut water.

Temporary stalls selling food, including satay of course, will be part of the 14th edition of the Singapore Heritage Festival, said the National Heritage Board (NHB) yesterday. These stalls will open on May 12 and 13.

The NHB expects about 1.5 million visitors for this year's festival which will run over three weekends from April 28 to May 14.

The festival, organised with about 80 community partners, boasts more than 110 programmes.

Besides the Singapore River, other venues are Caldecott Broadcast Centre, Little India and Bukit Pasoh.

Visitors will get to explore the oldest part of Caldecott Broadcast Centre, where Singapore's first radio station, Radio Television Singapore, was established.

Closed to the public before, part of the recently vacated Mediacorp broadcast centre site will be transformed into festival grounds over the first two weekends.

Visitors will have access to performances by theatre companies such as How Drama and Sweet Tooth by Cake.

Celebrities will take participants on tours of old sets and studios, while regaling them with behind-the-scenes stories.

Festival director Angelita Teo said Caldecott is a place that "many of us are familiar with but few would have had the chance to visit".

She added: "We hope that this experience will encourage our audience to discover more about Singapore's rich history and heritage, and to be inspired to contribute in their own way."

Mediacorp has moved to Mediapolis @ one-north in Buona Vista.

Over in Little India, Campbell Lane will be decorated with colourful street art installations and smurals as the Indian Heritage Centre celebrates its second anniversary in conjunction with the Singapore Heritage Festival from May 6 to 7, and May 13 to 14.

The enclave will also host performances by dance, music, theatre and puppetry groups, as well as food trails led by local celebrity chefs.

Meanwhile, on May 10 in Bukit Pasoh, lion dance troupes and martial arts practitioners such as the Sim San Loke Hup Athletic Association and the Singapore Chin Woo Athletic Association will be showing off their skills.

Clans and other associations in the area will also be offering guided tours, craft activities as well as workshops.

Most of the programmes are free. Online registration for ticketed programmes starts today at 10am. Visit www.heritagefestival.sg for more details.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2017, with the headline 'Visit old film sets and have a feast at heritage festival'. Print Edition | Subscribe