Singapore

PA & TNP to make... Our blocks rock

Parties for heartlanders to promote harmony among neighbours through food, fun and friendship

Heartlanders, prepare to party where you live.

No need for expensive tickets to listen to live music, dance to a DJ's music or pay to eat exotic fare at food festivals.

Instead, celebrate harmony with your neighbours at hip parties that will be held all over Singapore, starting tomorrow.

They are block parties with live acoustic music, unique games and contemporary cuisine. You can call it a modern take on the pasar malam.

The first two of the 47 parties will kick off tomorrow and on Sunday at Block 648A, Hougang Avenue 8, Ci Yuan Sports Park.

Residents can party from 11am to 7pm on both days.

The parties will travel to 17 locations in the heartland, over selected weekends, till December.

The Rock Our Blocks parties are organised by People's Association (PA) Panel of Activists for Community Engagement (Pace) and The New Paper.

"Harmony is the essence of the Singapore success story," said Mr Dominic Nathan, editor of TNP.

"And the heartlander is very close to our hearts because TNP is very much a heartland newspaper.

Among other attractions, residents can expect delicious food from 23 vendors, or buy local lifestyle products such as henna and leather craft.

JAM

Want to jam with your neighbours? Join the open mic sessions on the stage, appreciate music by local talent or dance to music by DJs such as DJ Senter.

There will also be activities such as paper quilling and batik painting organised by PA interest groups.

You can even learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid.

The first 1,000 residents to complete the CPR exercise and first-aid awareness programmes will receive "harmony packs", which include celebratory postcards and postboxes for neighbours to pen messages to one another. They will also get a 10 per cent discount voucher for any food stall at the party.

The block parties aim to create harmony within the heartland community, and equip them with necessary skills to respond to emergencies, said a PA spokesman.

Those who are not Hougang residents can also join in the fun.

Ms Tan Jia Hui, 20, who lives in Serangoon Gardens, said she was excited about the party and planned to go there to "check out the event". She said that festivals and parties are "rarer in the east and more common in the west".

She said: "I'm keen on trying the food and I hope it'll be as delicious as it seems."

One of the vendors is ColdShave, which serves ice kacang in different flavours.

Owner Glen Tan, 27, said: "We're trying to reinvent the dessert by adding a modern twist to it.

"We're happy to reach out to more heartland customers and we hope they'll like it."

What to try

COLDSHAVE

  • What it is: A combination of finely shaved ice and creamy ice cream, with toppings such as condensed milk, caramel and azuki beans. It is a twist on ice kacang. The shaved ice comes in flavours such as lemon, green apple and orange.
  • Flavours to look out for: the ColdShave Special, which is essentially bubblegum and lemon lime shaved ice with vanilla ice cream and condensed milk. The dish is one in five that will be served at the parties.
  • Price: $3.50 to $5

MOMOLATO

  • What it is: Homemade gelato and designer popsicles
  • Flavours to look out for: Popsicles - Watermelon kiwi, Hokkaido milk with strawberries, coconut water lychee, lemon lime, bandung strawberry
  • Gelato - Dark chocolate sorbet, salted gula melaka, vanilla Oreo, mao shan wang durian sorbet, Korean strawberry
  • Price: $4 a popsicle/gelato, two for $7, three for $10.

THE UGLY DUCKLING

  • What it is: Duck products
  • Items to look out for: Duck leg confit burger, cheese fries made with freshly cut potatoes cooked in duck fat, topped with nacho cheese, mayonnaise and crispy duck skin
  • Price: $8 a burger, $6 each order of cheese fries

FYI

What: Rock Our Block parties

Where: Block 648A, Hougang Avenue 8, Ci Yuan Sports Park

When: Tomorrow and Sunday, 11am to 7pm

Tickets: Admission is free

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