Preview: Prudential Marina Bay Carnival

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Ever wished Singapore had its own massive theme park right in the heart of the city? Your prayers have been answered, as Pico Art and Prudential present the first ever Marina Bay Carnival!

Set up along the Marina Bay Promontory and Bayfront Event Space with a prime bayfront view, the inaugural Prudential Marina Bay Carnival is set to be the biggest and most exciting carnival in Singapore yet. Taking up 25,000 square metres (approximately 3.5 football fields) from 15th December 2017 to 1st April 2018, expect an incredible fair comparable to the likes of London’s Winter Wonderland and Hong Kong’s The Great European Carnival perfect for all the family.

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Barnabas Chia

Admission to the festival grounds is free, while rides and food are charged separately, starting at just S$4. Said Barnabas Chia, Lead of the Marina Bay Carnival Organising Team and Pico Art General Manager: “The Marina Bay Carnival aims to be an affordable, accessible carnival for each and every member of the family. Since we organise the annual Marina Bay Countdown in December and I Light Marina Bay in March, we wanted to create a new way to link the two events, and keep the festivities going throughout the four months.”

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The 55m Booster Max thrill ride. Photo from Marina Bay Carnival

Highlights of the festival include over 20 rides, ranging from child and senior friendly ones, to thrill rides, such as the 55 metre tall Booster Max ride that spins riders clockwise and counter clockwise and reaching speeds of up to 100km/h. More than half of these rides are brought in by Scottish showman Frederick Stokes Jr and his nomadic family. The Stokes family have been running the showman business for over 300 years, travelling all across the world to set up their rides at various carnivals and festivals, including Dubai, Hong Kong and of course, plenty of music festivals and seasonal carnivals across the UK.

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Frederick Stokes Jr, pictured with the Star Flyer.

For Frederick, this will be the first time the company will be setting up in Singapore. Said Frederick, who belongs to the sixth generation of showmen: “I’ve lived and breathed the showman business my entire life, all the way from when my ancestors ran steam driven carousels! I can’t imagine my life any other way, and we’re so glad to have been personally invited down by Pico Art.” Frederick and his family will be based in Singapore for the entire duration of the carnival, with his wife and children set to join him here in a few weeks. He recommends the Star Flyer as a must-visit for any family visiting: “It’s a thrill ride, but it’s also family friendly – not too high, not too fast and offering spectacular views of the skyline, so even kids and the elderly can enjoy it.”

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Bao Makers’ Salted Egg Prawn Bao

Besides the rides, the carnival will also be featuring plenty of games visitors can play, and stand to win a variety of over 1.2 million licensed stuff toys from the likes of Disney, Illumination and more (so expect to see people toting plenty of Minions and Winnie-the-Poohs). And as with any carnival, there’ll be plenty of vendors stocking food and drink as well, including modern kongbakpao experts Bao Makers, cafe darlings Hyde & Co., as well as hip lemonade joint Sofnade. Some interesting items to keep an eye out for include Raclette Cheese, and local twists such as Cendol Soft Serve.

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Electronic artist and rising star Jasmine Sokko. Photo from Facebook

To keep things interesting and encourage repeat visits, each month, the carnival will also be changing up their vendors, programmes and theme, ranging from Christmas carollers in December to Chinese New Year and Valentine’s themed light installations in February. Visitors can also expect live performances from the hottest local acts, including electronic artist Jasmine Sokko and hip-hop rapper TheLionCityBoy as they amp up the atmosphere with their repertoires.

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A log flume ride, also available during the carnival. Photo from Marina Bay Carnival

With Prudential being the main sponsor of the carnival, policyholders and Prudential staff will also enjoy benefits, specifically, receiving 5 Fast Passes to rides in order to beat the queues expected. Said Sheela Parakkal, Prudential Singapore’s Chief Human Resources Officer: “Being an insurance company, Prudential is all about promoting and strengthening relationships, as well as having a healthy work-life balance, and the Marina Bay Carnival will be a great way for all the family to spend quality time together.” As part of their way of giving back to society, Prudential staff will also be hosting 60 children in December during the carnival, sourced from the beneficiaries of longtime partners such as the Boys’ Brigade.

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Whether it’s thrills you seek or simply a great way to bond with family and friends, there’s big fun that awaits you at the first-ever Prudential Marina Bay Carnival this December, promising a good time out any day you choose to visit with quality rides, games and entertainment galore.

The Prudential Marina Bay Carnival opens on 15th December 2017 and runs till 1st April 2018 at Marina Bay Promontory and Bayfront Event Space. Admission is free and the carnival will be open daily from 4pm-11pm, except Christmas and New Year’s Eve, where it will open from 3pm. For more information and to purchase credits for rides and games online , visit their website here

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