Shoppers, retailers look forward to street events

Shoppers and retailers are looking forward to the upcoming Pedestrian Night at Orchard Road, which they say will make the area more vibrant.

Many are excited by the range of street events that will be organised for the designated night, which will happen on the first Saturday of every month, from 6pm to 11pm, starting next month.

Said Mr Tan Lubin, 27, a church worker: "If the event is something I'm interested in, like basketball or football, then I'll definitely head down."

A range of activities have been planned for the monthly event, including street tennis, music performances, a mass yoga session and Christmas carnival, which will take place on the stretch of Orchard Road from Ion Orchard to Ngee Ann City that will be closed to vehicular traffic.

Other shoppers such as Ms Maria Tan like the idea for a different reason.

"It'll be fun to be able to walk along a road that's normally full of cars," said the 47-year-old housewife.

Retailers, in particular those operating food and beverage outlets, are expecting more business on Pedestrian Night.

Miss Monica Morales, 30, manager of Calamansi, a fruit juice store at Paragon shopping centre, said she expects customers to drop by the shop after trying out the physical activities such as tennis and yoga.

Mr Chieng Puay Chui, 66, who sells ice-cream from his cart outside Ngee Ann City, said that the Saturday crowd is already quite big.

"I will see how big the crowd is on the first month. Hopefully, I will have to bring more ice-cream to sell next month," he said in Mandarin.

Others, however, are adopting a wait-and-see approach. Said Mr Steven Teng, 61, owner of Allkind Cameras Electronics at Lucky Plaza: "It's hard to say if it will bring people back, since they will go to the bigger, more popular shopping centres anyway."

The road closure could mean inconvenience for some residents in the area, especially those who live in Nutmeg Road behind Lucky Plaza.

Housewife Helen Gwee, 62, who lives in Jalan Jintan off Nutmeg Road, said the monthly event may pose a "slight inconvenience" as she will have to drive along a longer route via Mount Elizabeth road.

Still, a Pedestrian Night can only be good for Singapore as a tourist destination, said Mr Jeremiah Wong, marketing communications manager for Chan Brothers Travel.

"Street parties in other countries are prevalent, and there are always fun things to do. Opening Orchard Road up like this will help promote Singapore as a more dynamic and fun destination," he said.

This article was first published on Sep 26, 2014.
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