Those who are keen to watch the National Day Parade (NDP) as Singapore marks its 52nd birthday at The Float @ Marina Bay this year may stand a bigger chance of securing preview tickets.
For the first time, there will be an additional preview of the show at the venue, which is popular with many for its unobstructed bay view.
From next Tuesday to June 4, Singaporeans and permanent residents can apply for tickets to two preview shows and the actual NDP, the organising committee said in a press statement yesterday.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said yesterday in a Facebook post that the floating platform location is "a favourite site for many".
"The location allows perennial favourites like the Red Lions and components of all land, air and sea platforms in the show," he wrote.
Because it has a smaller seating capacity than the National Stadium, where the NDP was held last year, the organising committee has decided to add one more preview show, explained Dr Ng.
In total, about 150,000 people will be able to watch the NDP "live" this year: Students attending three National Education (NE) shows, and members of the public at the two previews on July 22 and July 29 and the official parade on Aug 9, National Day.
There were also two previews last year when the NDP was staged at the National Stadium after a 10-year hiatus during which the stadium was closed for refurbishment.
The organisers had converted an NE show into a second preview, with the 55,000-seater stadium allowing about 275,000 people to watch the parade, previews and rehearsals.
In comparison, the seating capacity at the floating platform, where the NDP has been held seven times since 2007, is about half of the stadium's, at about 25,000.
Businessman Shakti Desai, 34, watched the parade at the National Stadium last year and hopes he will have a chance to catch it with his extended family at the floating platform this year.
"It will be more open and less humid. I am hoping to see the action in the skies, and more displays of military might and power."
Applicants can choose to apply for two, four or six tickets. However, those asking for fewer tickets have a higher chance of obtaining them.
Those eligible can submit their applications via SMS, through the official NDP website, www.ndp.org.sg, or at SAM and AXS stations across the island.
Each NRIC holder is limited to one application. Tickets will be allocated by an electronic ballot system, and each ticket admits one person to the parade. Children and infants must also have a ticket.
Successful applicants will be notified from June 26 to July 3 via the contact number they provide.
Tickets can be collected from July 7 to 9 and from July 14 to 16, between 10am and 9pm, at the Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium Foyer on Basement 1 of the National Gallery Singapore.
Tickets are strictly not for sale.