Singapore River Festival to light up from Friday night

SINGAPORE - The Singapore River Festival kicks off on Friday (Nov 3) night as part of the ongoing drive to increase footfall to the historic area.

Now into its third year, the festival will involve more than 100 businesses within the Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay and Boat Quay precincts.

Organising body Singapore River One (SRO) expects more than 140,000 visitors across the two days of the festival, split equally between locals and tourists.

This year's theme - "Turn Up The River" - promises visitors a range of activities including an outdoor dance floor and what organisers say is the biggest-ever display of light-emitting diode (LED) kites at the Singapore River.

Some participating retailers will be offering special deals for the two evenings of the festival.

Visitors can also expect a range of live music entertainment and outdoor performances.

Last year, the festival drew 130,000 people, while the first iteration in 2015 drew 105,000.

"Recent consumer spending has been a bit depressed, so our estimates are a bit conservative this year," said SRO spokesman Edmund Wong. "This is why we're creating exciting new activities, such as a light projection rave party."

He said the SRO, which comprises stakeholders like property owners and business operators in the area, wants to draw visitors to the Singapore River vicinity.

"Ever since Marina Bay Sands and the Marina Bay area have been established, they've been the shining lights of Singapore. But the Singapore River is where a lot of Singapore's history and heritage comes from, and we want people to appreciate this," added Mr Wong.

He said the aim is to complement the Marina Bay area, by highlighting what the Singapore River has to offer.

Other efforts include plans to pedestrianise Circular Road permanently.

Restaurant Om Nom: Taste of Thai is participating in the Singapore River Festival for the second time.

Manager Fion Lee said that the festival previously increased sales at the Clarke Quay Central establishment by about 10 to 15 per cent.

She said: "It's great that the festival has brought in a bigger crowd to the river. It allows us to hold festival promotions that attract more festival goers to our restaurant and raise awareness of it."

Some of the events are ticketed, and for a list of festival activities, participating retailers and promotions, visit www.srf.sg.