Notice anything special about the above photo of Orchard Road? Look carefully, and you will realize that there are no cars on the road. In place, pedestrians were milling around.
Welcome to Pedestrian Night on Orchard Road!
Every first Saturday of the month, from July 2015 – December 2015, the section of Orchard Road between ION Orchard and Takashimaya will be closed to traffic. And pedestrians will be allowed to step foot ON Orchard Road at this time!
Two ramps were set up, one in front of ION Orchard and the other in front of Wisma, for pedestrians to enter. Super stroller + wheelchair friendly!
We parked our car at ION Orchard and started the walk from the cross junction in front of ION. The mandatory thing to do was to take a photo of the uniquely-Singapore icon: Our ERP Gantry! Woohoo.. No need to pay ERP for passing through the gantry during Pedestrian Night!
Let’s GO! *Made an imaginary BEEP sound as the stroller passed under the ERP gantry*
There were some chairs for pedestrians to chill out on. Like now, the hip thing to do is not to chill out along Orchard Road, but ON Orchard Road.
Using the bus lane? No worries of getting fined $130!
We spotted balloon sculpting going on. The lady was making a minion. You can’t see it, but MY was wearing a Minion T-shirt that day! I wanted to get a minion balloon for him to match his shirt. But in the end, the waiting time was too long, so we gave up.
We arrived at the road leading to Lucky Plaza. This is the work place of Singapore’s Most-Enthusiastic-Traffic-Controller. Whistling the baton NON-STOP until the whistle became redundant. Swinging the baton around like he was doing some dance. In he still working there? Come to think of it, I haven’t seen him in a long time. Anyway, the traffic controller got a night off during Pedestrian Night!
Whenever we saw an ‘Orchard Road’ sign, we would stop for a photo. The signs were pretty inconspicuous and people just walked right by them. But every time we stopped for a photo with one, we would start a queue of people waiting to take photo with the sign. Okay, maybe we were just taking too long to take a photo. But hello, do you know how difficult it is to take a decent photo with the kids? Especially in dim lighting, where the slightest movement from them would result in a blurry photo? #WoesOfAParentingBlogger
And then there were the, “Hellooo! Didi, look here! Woohoo, look look, helicopter in the sky! Aeroplane! Bird Bird! @#$#@%# JUST LOOK HERE!!!” holding-up-the-queue moments.
Forget it, maybe it would be easier to just take casual candid photos. And not get swore at for hogging the photo spots in front of the road signs trying to get a blog-worthy photo. #BloggingMakesMeThickSkinned
Along the way, we saw baskers livening up the atmosphere with their performances.
Near the centre, there was a stage for performances.
The stage and audience surrounding it caused a bottle-neck. The organizers were well-prepared for this and prepared barricades to direct the traffic and keep it moving smoothly along this section. *Thumbs Up!*
There was also some lucky draw event going on. If you didn’t mind queuing, you could join in to try to win some prizes. My kids minded queuing, so let’s move along.
The bus-stops along the way became rest stations for anyone who wanted to sit down and take a break.
And if taking selfie is your cup of tea but you are not wielding a selfie stick, try using this mirror instead.
And GAH… We reached the end.. Already!
It was pretty cool to be able to walk ON Orchard Road, our Singapore’s icon. The walk was very stroller-friendly, so no problems bringing one along. Besides balloon sculpting, there wasn’t anything particularly interesting for the kids. Wouldn’t it be super duper COOL if the organizers had set up like, play stations along the way? You know, like this slide that was set up at River Hongbao this year?
But point to note, Pedestrian Night on Orchard has a different theme each month. July’s theme was “Orchard Road Flash Sales”, which was not that kids-friendly. But the ONE to look forward to would be October’s “Family Fiesta” theme. I am definitely looking forward to that!
Information for Pedestrian Night at Orchard Road
Road Closure Dates: First Saturday of each month from July 2015 to December 2015
Road Closure Time: 6pm – 11pm
Road Closure Map:
Getting There: Orchard MRT (NS22)
Parking Information: Entry and exit to all operating carparks are not affected. The ingress and egress to all the carparks in the malls remain fully accessible.