Indoor fireworks dazzle at NDP preview show

Pyrotechnics on stage wowed spectators at the finale of the first of two NDP preview shows at the National Stadium yesterday.
Pyrotechnics on stage wowed spectators at the finale of the first of two NDP preview shows at the National Stadium yesterday.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
A composite photo of fireworks at the NDP preview display, taken from Republic Avenue by reader Raymond Chua, on July 23, 2016.
A composite photo of fireworks at the NDP preview display, taken from Republic Avenue by reader Raymond Chua, on July 23, 2016.PHOTO: RAYMOND CHUA
A composite photo of fireworks at the NDP preview display, taken from Republic Avenue by reader Raymond Chua, on July 23, 2016.
A composite photo of fireworks at the NDP preview display, taken from Republic Avenue by reader Raymond Chua, on July 23, 2016.PHOTO: RAYMOND CHUA

Audiences at this year's National Day Parade (NDP) will be treated to an indoor fireworks display for the first time, as the event returns to the National Stadium after a decade.

This will be the largest indoor fireworks display staged inside the National Stadium, with roughly five times more fireworks than that used at last year's SEA Games.

Yesterday, the first of two NDP preview shows kicked off with spectators streaming into the Sports Hub as early as 4pm. Among them was trade manager Chia Pei Fang, 28, who was watching the NDP "live" for the first time.

"It's definitely different from joining in the celebrations along Marina Bay in previous years," said Ms Chia, who went with her mother, sister and friend.

The audience at the preview enjoyed a closer look at the revelry and colours of the indoor fireworks display segment.

"From the ground up, there will be the comets and mines," said Military Expert 4 (ME4) Joel Li, chief safety officer of the Fireworks Committee, referring to the different types of fireworks.

"And for the fireworks flying downwards, we will have the falling stars for a longer burning effect."

The parade will feature 16 flame projectors, 36 high-powered lasers and 1,000 units of lights, all synchronised to upbeat remixes of popular NDP songs.

Preparations for the indoor fireworks typically begin four days in advance.

A team of 50 Singapore Armed Forces personnel is roped in for the massive task, which includes packing the fireworks into 98 pyrotechnic boxes.

At the stadium, the boxes are connected to wires at 36 locations lining the sides of the stage and 26 along the sides of the four ramps.

There are also 36 boxes on the ground in front of the stage, linked wirelessly to the firing system.

Overhead, six fireworks structures are hoisted 45m high and secured to the roof of the stadium.

For safety, the fireworks are installed 5m away from performers and 15m from spectators. Fans help to improve air quality and flow.

Besides the indoor fireworks, fireworks will also be set off outdoors over Kallang Basin during the NDP.

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Find out more about the indoor fireworks display. http://str.sg/fireworks

Follow the latest NDP 2016 news here at str.sg/ndp2016.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 24, 2016, with the headline 'Indoor fireworks dazzle at NDP preview show'. Print Edition | Subscribe