Heartlands Festival, the largest festival in the heartlands is back this year, from 19 November 2022 to 24 February 2023, to Connect Generations and celebrate the best of the old and new in the heartlands, featuring new-age hawkers and traditional home-grown businesses that have emerged stronger from the pandemic. Visitors can expect lucky draws and a curated selection of hawker experiences, shopping festivities, performances by local artistes and hidden heartland gems for all to Eat, Shop, Play and Celebrate this festive season.
Organised by Heartland Enterprise Centre Singapore (HECS), supported by the Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore (FMAS), Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), and Housing & Development Board (HDB), the highly anticipated festival kickstarted today at Oasis Terraces in Punggol. Taking a tour through the heartlands’ precincts with the festival’s beloved otter mascots, the launch party was graced by Guests-of-Honour Mr Desmond Lee (Minister for National Development) and Ms Sim Ann (Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Development).
Introduced in November last year as an initiative to drive greater community engagement in the heartlands, Heartlands Festival 2021 helped see a 20 per cent increase in footfall in the heartlands, comprising 40,000 merchants, hawkers and wet-market stall operators.
Welcoming its second edition, this year’s festival takes the theme of “Connecting Generations”, with more in-person activities to bring together residents and families to rediscover the heartlands’ rich heritage and culture. This year’s festival will see over 10,000 multi-generational shops and owners that have maintained their strong foothold in the evolving heartland landscape by strengthening their e-payment solutions and e-commerce adoption.
“The heartlands has grown to be a place where people can discover things they love, build a business, and bring together both the young and old in the local community. Despite the opening of borders and the growth of online communities, we recognise that the heartlands remain as one of the nation’s greatest assets, which has the potential to help bridge gaps between generations, engendering Singapore’s kampung spirit,” shares Lai Cheng Yi, HECS Centre Director.
The three-month festival will see the best of what the bustling heartlands have to offer through an array of new experiences, fun activities, and exclusive performances. In encouraging locals and tourists alike to travel off the beaten path to explore lesser-known locations and businesses in the heartlands, the festival’s activities are themed according to the key pillars of Eat, Shop, Play and Celebrate – each represented by the festival’s family of otters Eddy, Sasha, Paddy, and Carly respectively.
Connecting Generations Through People, Places and Food
Immerse in Singapore’s iconic hawker culture with a slew of mouth-watering adventures with Eddy’s Hawker Extravaganza. An array of delectable hawker gems awaits visitors across five hawker centres, along with captivating performances by local artistes Joy & Adeline, Lovepilots and more. Those who wish to show off their impressive hawker knowledge and flex their popiah making skills can also team up in fours for Eddy’s Hawker Gameshow, and stand to win official Heartlands Festival merchandise and a cash card worth S$88.
Bring out that inner coupon queen and Shop 2gether with Sasha in a timed race with a family member or friend for a chance to win a cash card worth S$88, while discovering the sweetest deals in the neighbourhood. What’s more, visitors can indulge in retail therapy with 12.12 in the Heartlands that will be happening this December, alongside the annual Heartlands Festival Lucky Draw, with coveted prizes worth up to S$9,888 to be won.
Visitors who use e-payment methods will also be entitled to an additional chance of winning. Additionally, from 19 November to 9 December 2022, shoppers who spend using NETS e-payment will receive an additional two chances in the Heartlands Festival Lucky Draw.
Anticipate interactive art installations with Art Attack in the Heartlands to light up your social media feed. And for those looking for an adventure, join Paddy on an Amazing Heartland Race. Using the Festival’s curated race guide, participants can cruise through iconic neighbourhood landmarks to complete missions and challenges – all with 1.5 hours on the clock!
Come this Christmas season, watch as the heartlands transforms into a snow-filled winter wonderland experience for the whole family. Join in for a White Christmas in the Heartlands and take home a free Polaroid photo with Carly, who will be adorably dressed as Santa. A lucky few will also stand a chance to glam it up with the S$100 Festive Makeover Challenge to take home a cash card worth S$88 and get a whole new look styled in time for the new year!
“We are proud to see how Singapore’s heartland enterprises are powering through the challenges brought about by the pandemic, and are continuing on this growth trajectory towards a post-pandemic future. In fact, 90% of these businesses, including the traditional ones, have digitalised their operations and deepened manpower capabilities to stay competitive. With over 20 merchants’ associations involved in this year’s festival, we will continue to strengthen our efforts in connecting different generations within the heartlands, to pave the way for new and traditional heartland entrepreneurs,” said Yeo Hiang Meng, President of FMAS.
The Heartlands Festival remains steadfast in its commitment to uplift the people and businesses in the heartlands to embrace innovation and new-age technology to stay relevant. With aims to Connect Generations and create communities together, Heartlands Festival 2022 will serve to further improve community building initiatives to unite the young and old. Seeking to propel the long-standing community spirit across generations in Singapore, the festival will continue to position the heartlands as the go-to destination for locals and tourists alike.