Big Walkers to hail from all walks of life

Participants will be cheered on by the percussion sounds of the Malay kompang and South Indian drums during the Jubilee Big Walk.
Participants will be cheered on by the percussion sounds of the Malay kompang and South Indian drums during the Jubilee Big Walk.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

From babies in strollers to grandparents in wheelchairs and young adults in superhero outfits, people from all walks of life are set to bring colour and celebration to the Jubilee Big Walk.

The event, an annual mass walk organised by The New Paper, is being put together with the People's Association (PA) this year to mark Singapore's Golden Jubilee.

The buzz word for it is inclusivity, especially as it is the last community-based event for the jubilee year, said PA chief executive director Ang Hak Seng yesterday.

Hence, about 1,000 low-income families and 500 representatives from immigrant associations, clans, voluntary welfare organisations and faith-based and ethnic groups have been invited by the organisers to stride out in step with about 25,000 others on Nov 29.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be the guest of honour.

The 5km route has been specially drawn to meander across flat ground to help make it a walk in the park for the participants.

It takes in part of a permanent 8km commemorative trail, known as the Jubilee Walk, that connects 25 landmarks reflecting the past, present and future elements in the Singapore story. So, participants on Nov 29 will pass historic and iconic locations in the Civic District and Marina Bay.

They will start at the National Museum, go past Parliament House and Jubilee Bridge, among others, before ending at The Meadow at Gardens by the Bay.

Towards the end, they will walk past the Floating Platform, where the words "Chase Your Rainbow SG 100" will be spelt out using dra-gon boats, kayaks and bell boats helmed by volunteers.

Mr Ang said the end point ought to bolster people's confidence in the country's next 50 years. "We don't have much water but we export water technology. You see the paradox? We should be inspired about the future."

About 20 PA performing arts groups will serenade and encourage walkers along the way. They include a multiracial percussion group performing with drums such as the Chinese tanggu and Malay kompang. A lead drummer, student Yak Raihan Rizki, 14, said that in the last six months of rehearsals, "we've all got very close".

To find out more about the historic locations, download the Singapore Time Walk app in the Apple Store or Google Play.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2015, with the headline 'Big Walkers to hail from all walks of life'. Print Edition | Subscribe