HeritageFest to commemorate Singapore's travel, natural heritage

·5 min read
Singapore Airlines memorabilia at the Singapore HeritageFest 2022. (PHOTO: Chia Han Keong/Yahoo News Singapore)
Singapore Airlines memorabilia at the Singapore HeritageFest 2022. (PHOTO: Chia Han Keong/Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Learn about the history of the Railway Corridor, get to know a local collector of Singapore Airlines memorabilia, or try to conquer your fear of bees.

These are just a sample of the host of interesting experiences in store at the Singapore HeritageFest 2022, which will run from 2 to 29 May.

Into its 19th edition, the festival will offer more than 120 on-site and online activities that commemorate Singapore's travel and natural heritage, as it marks a slew of historical milestones this year such as the 75th anniversary of Singapore Airlines; the 50th anniversary of Sentosa Development Corporation; the 50th birthday of the Merlion statue; and the 10th anniversary of the Gardens by the Bay.

And after a couple of years of primarily online offerings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's HeritageFest will offer more physical activities as Singapore begins to reopen and relax its pandemic restrictions, with over 60 per cent of its programme being on-site events.

"This ties in well with our festival themes of nature and travel which are best experienced in-person," said festival director David Chew.

"We hope to bring heritage alive, enabling festival-goers to uncover lesser-known aspects of our history in refreshing ways. It is also my hope that our programmes can help to seed certain conversation starters to set people thinking about Singapore’s history and heritage."

The festival programmes will be open for registration from noon on Thursday (21 April). The public may visit the Singapore HeritageFest official website for more information on the programmes, and on how to register.

PHOTO: Singapore HeritageFest
PHOTO: Singapore HeritageFest

Highlights of Singapore HeritageFest 2022

This year’s HeritageFest programme line-up involves 80 community partners, and includes heritage and cultural trails, hands-on workshops, video documentaries, tours, exhibitions and digital programmes.

Here are some of the highlights of the festival:

Homeground (29 April to 5 June, National Museum Singapore)

An installation featuring a life-sized train inspired by the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) train that used to run from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. There is also video content of how the former railway line has now been transformed into the Railway Corridor for the community to explore Singapore's natural heritage.

Lower Khatib Bongsu Trail (14, 15, 28 May, Sembawang Park, $115 per pax)

This river trail will explore Khatib Bongsu, one of Singapore's largest mangrove riverine ecosystems.

Wheels On The Bus: Bee One Happy Family Natural Heritage (7, 8, 14, 21, 22, 28, 29 May, Bee Amazed Garden, $50 per pax)

Bee Amazed is a local bee farm, and this interactive tour will explore the behaviour of honey bees in Singapore, as well as teach participants to differentiate what good honey is. There will be honey tasting during the tour, as well as photo-taking sessions with the bees.

Wheels On The Bus: Go Green, Go Buggy! Insect Farm Tour Natural Heritage (7, 14, 21, 28 May, Insectta, $20 per pax)

Learn how an insect farm works at Singapore’s first black soldier fly farm located in Queenstown, and discover how insect farms are revolutionising sustainable agriculture.

Singapore’s Natural History in 3 Plants (7, 14, 21 May, Spice Garden at Fort Canning and National Museum of Singapore, $96 per pax)

A historian-led tour of the gardens at Fort Canning Park to explore the history of Singapore’s three cash crops - coffee, pineapple and coconut - that were once key drivers of Singapore’s economy. Learn about their impact on Singapore’s nature, how they shaped the landscape, and lessons that can be drawn on to promote a better understanding of sustainable ways of living.

Blue Pea Wonder Workshop (21 May, 420 Pasir Ris Drive 6, $90 per pax)

A culinary and craft workshop centred on appreciating the butterfly pea plant that is native to Asia and known for its healing properties. Participants will discover the cultural significance and culinary uses of the humble blue pea around the world.

MasterCraft: Conversations and woodworking workshops with Roger&Sons (7 May, 115 King George’s Avenue, $100 per pax)

An afternoon of conversations about The Local Tree Project and woodworking workshops with the team at Roger&Sons as they illuminate the landscape of the woodworking industry with stories of our local trees and their efforts in utilising local resources and reducing wastage. Participants will also get a chance to produce their own pair of wooden chopsticks and pencils.

Air Traffic Control - We guide you home (7, 14 May, 10am and 1pm, Singapore Aviation Academy)

Discover how the Singapore Aviation Academy has been Singapore’s training ground for air traffic controllers. Experience a day-and-night view from the Changi Airport "control tower" through a specialised training simulator.

Tour of Goodwood Park Hotel (13, 14, 28 May, Goodwood Park Hotel, $35 per pax)

Discover stories about the historic hotel and learn about its transformation over the years, with special access to view the Rose Marie Suite. Participants will also get to enjoy teatime treats after the tour.

Merli-Go-Round to Singapore HeritageFest (available via the VisitSingapore mobile app)

In celebration of the Merlion statue’s 50th anniversary this year, the Merli-Go-Round to Singapore HeritageFest game invites you to embark on themed quests at four cultural precincts (Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Gelam and Katong-Joo Chiat), earn in-game coins and win exclusive Merli-themed prizes.

Home Museum: Collections of Travel and Natural Heritage (online)

Three collectors share about their home collections that are centred around the HeritageFest's theme of travel and natural heritage. From Singapore Airlines memorabilia to animal taxidermy to nature and plants – what inspired them to do so?

Community Association Series: Who Are We? (online)

This online series follows a host on a journey to find out how different ethnic groups preserve their traditions as she attempts to make sense of her cultural identity in modern day Singapore. In each episode, the host learns about the challenges in keeping cultural practices alive as she picks up a traditional skill from the craftsmen.

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