Hong Lim Park turns purple in special parade to raise awareness of special needs community

The Purple Parade at Hong Lim Park. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN
The Purple Parade at Hong Lim Park. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

SINGAPORE - A sea of purple washed over Hong Lim Park on Saturday afternoon as more than 5,000 people gathered to celebrate the Purple Parade. The parade was organised to show support for and raise awareness about Singapore's special needs community. It featured performances, carnival games, and a successful bid to set a local record for the largest gathering of people - 300 in Saturday's attempt - with purple hair.

But behind the fun atmosphere of the Purple Parade, being held for the second year, was a serious message. "It's really not just a carnival or an event," said Central Singapore District mayor Denise Phua, who is a member of the parade's steering committee.

"It's a movement to make sure that people with special needs are not forgotten in our country, and that they are always included in all aspects of society." It includes those with autism and the physically disabled.