First of 17 Rock Our Blocks parties kicks off in Hougang
Loud dance music reverberated in the background as residents mingled, chomped on snacks and indulged in some shopping.
They were soaking in the atmosphere at the first of 17 Rock Our Blocks parties yesterday at Block 648A, Hougang Avenue 8.
The other 16 parties will take place in the heartland on selected weekends until December.
Ang Mo Kio and Hougang residents who showed up yesterday were at first curious, but they soon warmed up to what seemed like a modern version of the regular pasar malam.
One resident, housewife Toh Chui Sia, 38, who was at the event with her 18-month-old daughter, says: "Events like these are good as they bring people together."
Madam Toh says she went there to mingle with other residents and see what the party had to offer.
She walked around, surveying every stall, and even picked up cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first-aid skills.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: Even kids got in on the fun, learning CPR.
She was given a harmony pack, which contains postcards and postboxes for neighbours to pen messages to each other, and a 10 per cent discount voucher for any food stall at the party.
Mrs Kwang Phui Leng, 35, an account executive, who was accompanied by her seven-year-old son, also learnt CPR and first-aid skills.
She says: "Having (these lessons) here is important for residents. It is good for us to know how to save others when they are injured."
The party was jointly organised by People's Association (PA) Panel of Activists for Community Engagement (Pace) and The New Paper.
What made it special was that residents got to taste unique snacks like dragon's breath (below) - crunchy cereal-like balls infused with liquid nitrogen.
When eaten, vapour will emerge from the person's mouth.
One resident, who wants to be known only as Tan, 17, says: "I have never heard or seen something like this before, and it is really cool. "
To beat the heat, residents slurped ColdShave, a twist on regular ice kacang with ice cream as a base instead of red beans and grass jelly.
For those who wanted a heavier meal, there were duck burgers.
The party also had live music, open mic sessions and activities like paper quilling and batik painting.
(Above) ColdShave, a new take on regular ice kacang.
Jermayne Koh, 14, who sang acoustic covers of Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars songs, says: "I was quite nervous as I had only two weeks to prepare for the performance.
"But the night before, I was really excited. I would do it again if I got the chance."
Manning the DJ booth was DJ Senter who livened up the atmosphere with pounding dance music.
Residents also tried their hand at mixing their own music on the turntables (below).
The party continues today from 11am to 7pm.
Madam Tay Lian Choon, 76, who was there yesterday, plans to make a second visit today, but with her friends in tow.
"I am happy to see events like these being organised. I want to take my friends here tomorrow so we can see the stalls together," she says.
WHAT Rock Our Block parties
WHERE Block 648A, Hougang Avenue 8, Ci Yuan Sports Park
WHEN Today, 11am to 7pm