Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NTUC Income Kite Festival 2012

Kite flying has been a popular hobby back in the Kampung (village) days. Kids just love to fly kites outside their homes. Now, kite flying is still quite popular among Singaporeans and with modern technology, kites are increasingly more modern now with remote controlled kites and so much more. If you think kite flying is dead, well, think again. In September of 2012, I went to the NTUC Income Kite Festival 2012 organised by two organisations, NTUC Income, the insurance company and Act 3 International, an organisation dedicated to teaching people about drama. Kite flying enthusiasts from all over Asia came to Singapore for this festival to show their beautiful kites and their amazing kite flying skills in the beautiful Marina Bay area. If you have missed the event, not to worry, I will show you more about the Kite Festival below.

Having A Great Day At the Festival

The NTUC Income Kite Festival was held at the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade and the nearby Promontory@Marina Bay. There were many people over at the event with people from all walks of life. There were plenty of events happening at the festival such as roving performances, food stalls, kite-making booths and so much more. It's too bad that I didn't go for the festival at an earlier time otherwise I can get myself a goodie bag with some goodies like a mini NTUC Income branded kite.

Having Fun At the Open Field

Here at the open field beside the Marina Bay Sands, there were plenty of people sitting down on the grass enjoying a nice picnic and plenty of kite enthusiasts enjoying their passions. Kites with different shapes and sizes were all present here and many of them were definitely enjoying the breeze which made the kites fly better. This open field is not the only place to fly kites during the festival. There was also the Promontory@Marina Bay which is located adjacent to the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade.

The Programme Guide

In the middle of the festival venue, there was a programme guide that showed all the events happening during the Festival. Most of them were free but for some, visitors will have to pay a small fee. There were plenty of events happening at the NTUC Income Kite Festival and if you come early, you get to see all of them. Unfortunately, I did not come early so I only managed to catch a handful of the events that were happening at the Festival. It's better than nothing right?

Various Foodstalls Available for Visitors

At the Festival, there was also a wide variety of foodstalls available near the open field beside the Marina Bay Sands. Some of them were already closed but I was quite surprised that there was no Halal food being served at the Festival as compared to the 2011 Kite Festival whereby Halal food stalls by Sarpino's Pizzeria and Pastamania were available. I just hope that there will be plenty of Halal food available at this year's festival to cater to the amount of Muslim visitors and kite flying enthusiasts. Anyway, visitors can also buy some food from the 7 Eleven at Marina Bay Sands or the Marina Bay Link Mall or have a picnic at the open fields.

Free Performances for Everyone

Which free outdoor festival does not have a healthy amount of free concerts and performances for anyone to enjoy? Thankfully, like most outdoor festivals, NTUC Income Kite Festival has a fair share of concerts and performances for visitors to enjoy. The picture above shows an acapella group performing a song without instruments. They perform the sounds with their mouths which was pretty cool. If you come earlier, unlike me, you could watch lots of performances performed by various singers and groups. It's a great way to spend the day on a budget because the performances were completely free.

Free Roving Performances

Other than free performances at the main stage outside the Marina Bay City Gallery, there was also a row of roving performances performed by various local and international talents. The above picture shows a magician performing his awesome magic and some people even volunteered to help out the magician. The magician was silent but hilarious and he performed various magic tricks in front of a big crowd. Another roving performance I checked out involved this guy walking on a piece of rope that was suspended in the air with the help of some volunteers. It was a little bit like tightrope walking although not too extreme. It was still amazing though because he walked on a piece of rope that was hanging in the air which requires great skills and training in order to achieve such a feat. It's too bad that I can't really show you the picture because the picture was a little bit dark as it was going to be night time and there were too many people around.

Visitors Learning How to Make Kites

There was also a kite making workshop at the Festival although I'm not too sure if it was free. Lots of visitors were gathering around to make some kites of their own and they were taught by kite-making professionals. Some of them were simple-looking while others were more elaborate and had intricate designs seen on the kites. Many small children and adults loved the activity and the kites that they made which they also get to fly at the open fields and take home. I still wish that I was there to get myself involved with the exciting activity.

Some Sample Kites

In the picture above are some sample kites created by professionals. They look fantastic and when I was there, I just had the feeling of taking the kites and fly it myself at the open field. It's so much better to make a kite on your own than to buy one off the shelf because it's more significant as you made it with your own bare hands. I just love the intricate designs on the kites here. Who says that kite flying is dead in Singapore?

Kite Flying with a View

Apart from the two open fields near the venue of the festival, kite-flying enthusiasts also flew kites near the Waterfront Promenade at an area close to the water as you can see above. These enthusiasts were pretty engaged with their hobbies because I could see it on their happy faces. Not only that, they also chose a pretty good place to fly their kites as the location was a pretty scenic one. I think they also do not mind getting their kites wet if it dropped into the water because they could buy a new one at a booth selling new kites. Not only that, they were also pretty good at flying their kites because they were able to keep it stable against the wind.

In A Pistachio Nut Shell

Overall, the free NTUC Income Kite Festival was a great event for enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike. You don't really have to be a kite enthusiast to attend this free event. All you need is a sense of having fun and you're good to go. Still, if you are interested in the field of kite flying, you can check out how to make a kite, watch other kite flyers master the art and learn it too at the Festival. There are also plenty of places to do all these anytime of the year apart from the Festival. Some other open fields kite flying enthusiasts love to carry out their interests include the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade (the location of the Kite Festival), Promontory@Marina Bay, Marina Barrage, Sengkang Riverside Park, an open field beside Woodlands Park Connector and so much more. I'm not really a kite flying enthusiast but I do enjoy carrying out the activity simply because it's fun and relaxing. There are also plenty of places to learn about them such as the internet. I hope that I get to attend the NTUC Income Kite Festival again this year and hopefully, I can come even earlier to enjoy more wonderful activities than the year before.

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