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Pedestrian Night on Orchard Road to continue with more themed activities, greater buzz

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SHOPPERS and tourists can expect bigger, buzzier festivities when the Pedestrian Night on Orchard Road initiative returns for another six-month run from July to December.

SHOPPERS and tourists can expect bigger, buzzier festivities when the Pedestrian Night on Orchard Road initiative returns for another six-month run from July to December.

Among them are themes that change with each edition of the once-a-month road closure, an array of bustling activities and performances by local artists, and special promotions and contests held in conjunction with the malls on Singapore's iconic shopping street.

Organised by the Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA) and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the Pedestrian Night on Orchard Road initiative attracted over 50,000 shoppers - twice the average Saturday night footfall - to each monthly event in its pilot run from last October to March this year.

The extension comes as part of the STB's S$20 million campaign in the second half of the year to draw visitors here during the nation's Golden Jubilee.

Over 26 participating merchants - including several outlets under the Wing Tai umbrella and department stores such as Tangs and Metro - will be holding flash sales and offering deep discounts during next month's road closure from 6pm to 11pm on July 4, said ORBA's executive director Steven Goh.

August's event will be red and white-themed, in accordance with National Day celebrations, and will see the street being decked out with bespoke pieces crafted by diverse artists, while September's Pedestrian Night on Orchard Road will be racing-themed and October's will centre around family.

Responding to feedback from the pilot run, Mr Goh added that efforts will be made to spread out the number of access points to the closed-off street as well as to ramp up facilities for the handicapped. All roads, except for the stretch between Scotts Road and Bideford Road, will continue to be open to traffic, with 3,000 to 4,000 parking lots available throughout the stretch's multiple shopping malls.

Visitor arrivals fell from 15.6 million in 2013 to 15.1 million last year - the first fall since 2009 - and is expected to remain in the 15.1 million to 15.5 million range this year. Tourist receipts remained flat at S$23.5 billion to S$24 billion.