Sunday, October 05, 2014

Inaugural Orchard Road Pedestrian Night.

It was announced on mainstream media that starting October 4 or the first Saturday of every month, a section of Orchard Road ( from Orchard Ion to Ngee Ann City ) will be closed to vehicles from 6 -11 pm, so that pedestrians can walk the streets and join in the activities in hope of making Orchard a more vibrant place. This 6 month trial dubbed "Pedestrian Night" was organised by the Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA).  I decided to pay a visit to this inaugural event to experience first hand what it feels like.

The main activity for the Inaugural Orchard Road Pedestrian Night was a tennis mass clinic dubbed "Tennis Pops Up@Orchard Road with lots of children and adults playing tennis. If you are like me and not a fan of tennis, fret not as there were other activities as well, such as local musicians performing on a stage, set-up right on Orchard Road ! As i was passing there, i recognised the musicians playing on stage as the dual group called Jack and Rai. If you are not familiar with their music, you can find some of their songs on National Library Board's MusicSG.

I spotted also Nila, the Official Mascot of the 2015 South East Asian Games that will be held in Singapore. There was a queue of children and even young adults to take a picture with Nila. Below are some of the pictures i took of the inaugural Orchard Road Pedestrian Night 2014. Do also look for my next article post on the Singapore Teochew Festival which was held in front of Ngee Ann City. I took the opportunity to visit the festival after the Orchard Road walk.
No ERP charges and of course no vehicles

Childrenin tennis clinics playing in the middle of Orchard Road 

Performances by local talent: Jack and Rai. 

Nila all deck out to promote 2015 South East Asian Games

Performances continuing to the night

Suggestions for Improvements
I enjoyed yesterday's event especially the free open air concert but mobility was an issue as most of the road areas were taken up by the tennis games or clinics going on which may not be something everyone is interested in and in fact created a bit of a squeeze or bottle neck for pedestrians who were out trying to walk the length of Orchard Road. A suggestion from me for future events would be to organise a food night where food vans can park there and dish out local delights and a heritage night where cultural performances of the various multi-racial groups and heritage troupes can get an airing. To me, the anchor of this monthly event will be the music performances especially if local bands and artist band are the center of it. This will be a nice platform for local artist to reach out to the masses who may not visit the Esplanade or participate in the local musical performances.


References
Part of Orchard Road to go car-free at selected times. The Straits Times Online.
From The Straits Times archives: Revitalising Orchard Road. The Straits Times Online.
Orchard Road's Pedestrian Night turns out to be an enjoyable squeeze. The Straits Times Online.

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