SINGAPORE - A 66m-long helium-filled flying LED dragon will make its world debut at this weekend's Chingay parade.
The 35kg dragon will be held by 10 performers from China's Shaanxi province. In total, about 800 of the parade's 8,000 performers are from overseas, parade organiser People's Association (PA) said during a media preview on Thursday (Feb 18).
Themed "Lights of Legacy, Brighter Singapore", this year's parade honours values fostered by Singapore's late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, such as meritocracy and integrity, said Mr Ang Hak Seng, PA's chief executive director. The parade started here in 1973.
The Chinese New Year event will be held at the F1 Pit Building on Friday and Saturday night (Feb 19 and 20).
A troupe of 200 "big head dolls", made up of performers from Singapore and Fujian, will make its Chingay debut, while a Russian dance ensemble featuring fast spinning dancers is returning for a second year.
Other highlights include a fan dance by a South Korean troupe, stilt-walkers from Johor Baru and a medley of cultural performances by an Indonesian troupe - the biggest overseas contingent with over 200 performers.
The parade, spanning 1hr 10 min, will have 19 acts spread out over five segments. Some 8,000 sky lanterns and 11 floats will form the backdrop for the event. The 25,000 seated audience will also be given hand-held light bulbs to wave during the finale performances.
The turn-out, including those watching from other vantage points, is expected to be between 160,000 and 180,000 for both nights.
The parade will be broadcast on television in 24 territories, and is expected to reach 35 million viewers across Asia.
It will go to different places in the heartland until March 27.
A carnival, the Chingay Night Fiesta, will be held on Sunday (Feb 21) at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park from 6.30pm to 10pm. Admission is free.