From now till Oct 1, AR fun, performances, good food, and wellness activities await at Singapore River Festival 2023.
2023’s Singapore River Festival (SRF 2023) has started! Held physically for the first time since 2019, the banks of Singapore’s most iconic and important river will be alive with lights, performances, and games till Oct 1. All in celebration of the river’s heritage that is so much a part of Singapore’s history.
The three quays (Robertson, Clarke, and Boat) alongside the river will be the centres of celebrations, while three historical bridges have received makeovers as part of the Light Up on Bridges programme.
Most exciting of all, Augmented Reality (AR) takes centrestage for this year’s festival! You can partake in the quirky Saba’s Time Quest and enjoy artsy augmented reality effects and games. All you need is the TikTok app on your phone.
Come Sep 29, Clarke Quay Central will be the venue for an awesome cosplay matsuri too! Details here.
Light Up on Bridges. An Illumination Inspired by the Dreams of Singaporeans
Light Up on Bridges is the key illumination event for Singapore River Festival 2023, with three historical bridges lit up and decorated for the festival. These bridges are:
Cavenagh Bridge (Future Progression): Singapore’s oldest bridge has been adorned with brilliant, mesmerising lights, transforming it into a symbol of resilience and progression.
Read Bridge (Lively Ensemble): A canopy decorated with colourful motifs and symbols celebrates Read Bridge’s history as a place of entertainment in the 1960s. Read Bridge will also be the venue for several SRF 2023 performances.
Alkaff Bridge (Garden City): With its vibrant artwork by the late Pacita Abad atmospherically illuminated, Alkaff Bridge represents a radiant flower garden at night. Garden City is, of course, also one of Singapore’s most famous epithets.
To be clear, when I visited the festival on opening night, every bridge spanning the river from Robertson Quay to Anderson Bridge was illuminated, although the ones outside of the above three didn’t have special installations.
If you don’t mind an evening walk of about 2 km, it’s quite enjoyable to walk from Robertson Quay to Anderson Bridge. Other than the bridge illuminations, there would be programmes and performances to check out. You could, of course, also join Saba the Otter in his quest for Solaris Crystals. By the way, the Otter will be at it till Nov 7. He has LOTS of crystals to find!
Alternatively, go on a bumboat or riverboat cruise! Now, I know this sounds very touristy if you’re Singaporean but trust me, it’s a wholly different experience enjoying the illuminations from the middle of the Singapore River than from then banks.
I went on the cruise and it was unexpectedly uplifting, and not just because of the constant breeze. Somehow, viewing the quays and Singapore’s skyscrapers from the middle of the river made it doubly emphatic just how much we have developed as a metropolis. It’s also like a refresher course in Singaporean history.
Singapore River Festival 2023 ends on Oct 1. However, Saba the Otter will be hunting for crystals till Nov 7. Go help him!