First of all, Happy 54th Birthday, Singapore! And Happy National Day to all!
In this time of great celebration, we’ve compiled a list of things to take note of and events to join at the National Day Parade (NDP) at the Padang and at Marina Bay or the heartland. There’s something for everyone to enjoy!
What to expect at the NDP show
The NDP show promises six acts in total, beginning with a commemoration dedicated to Singapore’s bicentennial.
If you like the yearly dance performances, get ready to be dazzled by this year’s show, which features stunning laser light shows, dance performers in their glittering costumes, laser displays and giant mascots and props.
Speaking of giant props, this year’s parade is pulling out all the stops — a 6m-tall metallic lion weighing about 1,000kg will be gracing the show!
Watch out for Act 5 of the show, entitled Our Dreams, where the silver lion will make its first appearance.
There will be eight floats on display, to celebrate time-honoured local institutions which have had a part in Singapore’s history.
A first at this year’s NDP is a rap and hip-hop musical stage in Act 4: Our Nation, so head there to get grooving with talented local artists and musicians.
The music will be layered with short films conceptualised and directed by multimedia director Royston Tan that show ordinary Singaporean citizens rising above challenges.
What to expect at the parade
Set your watches for 5.30pm, when the parade will begin!
During the show’s prologue segment, get ready to be awestruck by an amazing aerial display as the Red Lions are back after 2015’s cancelled jump because of bad weather.
The team of nine parachutists will free-fall out of a helicopter from a height of 3,048m and come together in mid-air to form a ring by linking their arms together.
The air force’s Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft will also make its first NDP appearance during the aerial display.
The mobile column, which will feature 171 vehicles, is expected to make a return appearance after being absent for four years. The Leopard 2SG main battle tanks and Light Strike Vehicles will take centre stage in the mobile column.
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the mobile column, there will be a tribute to Merdeka Generation servicemen.
Where to see the fireworks display
At this year’s celebrations, fireworks will be lit for the first time from the Singapore River, which will give citizens a better viewpoint.
The three locations where the fireworks will be released are 1) a barge in front of the Asian Civilisations Museum, 2) Marina Bay and 3) the Padang.
If you want to snag prime vantage points for watching the fireworks shows, which promise to be even more dazzling this year, go early and check out Boat Quay, Merlion Park, The Promontory @ Marina Bay and the Helix Bridge.
Security checks at the Padang
Expect thorough security checks upon entering the Padang, including having to go through metal detectors and having personal belongings X-rayed.
If you have tickets to watch the NDP today, this is a reminder to not bring along prohibited items like scissors to the Padang. Drones and other unmanned aircraft are also not allowed in the event area.
The Padang will open at 3.30pm.
Celebrations to join in the heartland
Everyone is taking part of this year’s National Day celebrations.
In the western part of the island, celebrations started this morning at 7am, with more than 4,000 Yew Tee residents walking and running around the Pang Sua Canal.
The event will end at Gain City Megastore in Sungei Kadut, where there will be a carnival lit up with games and stalls offering free refreshments.
There will also be a carnival at Farrer Park Field, where there will be photography stations where people can take pictures with ponies and former national football stars such as Razali Saad and Noh Alam Shah.
If you don’t have tickets for the NDP at the Padang, giant screens at local landmarks, such as Marina Barrage, the National Museum, Changi Airport Terminal 3 and Our Tampines Hub, will be broadcasting the shows.
Tomorrow (Aug. 10), at around 6.45pm, there will be a parade of more than 60 vehicles from the Singapore Armed Forces and Home Team. They will drive through heartland locations Bishan, Wisma Geylang Serai, Jurong East, Punggol and Woodlands.
At around 8pm, there will be a mass pledge-taking session and the singing of the national anthem. The celebrations will come to a close with amazing fireworks displays at all five sites.
Community events to check out
If you want to get active for National Day, check out Sports Hub’s all-day fun event of exercise and games. The event will be open from 10am to 9pm and will feature other activities such as a playground for the children, a crafts workshop for those who want to get creative, and bazaar for shopping!
If you’re up for it and want a serious workout and want to commemorate Singapore’s bicentennial at the same time, try the Red-X Challenge, where participants aim to do 200 repetitions of every station.
The Singapore Land Authority, in partnership with Art Market organiser The Local People, will be hosting an event at the former St Andrew’s Mission Hospital called “I Am Citizen”, which will feature art installations, music, art booths and a live streaming of the NDP.
There will be a “National Day Open House” at the National Museum of Singapore on Friday and Saturday and will host a film screening of movies about the country and an exhibition on how local food is packaged.
There is something for everyone at this year’s National Day celebrations. /TISG
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