Marina Bay all set to turn into party central

The crowd at Marina Bay Sands captivated by the fireworks display during the NDP preview yesterday. More than 15 buildings around the bay will be lit up in red and white during the parade on Aug 9. Young and old will come together to celebrate Singap
The crowd at Marina Bay Sands captivated by the fireworks display during the NDP preview yesterday. More than 15 buildings around the bay will be lit up in red and white during the parade on Aug 9. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The crowd at Marina Bay Sands captivated by the fireworks display during the NDP preview yesterday. More than 15 buildings around the bay will be lit up in red and white during the parade on Aug 9. Young and old will come together to celebrate Singap
Young and old will come together to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday, with the main show at the Padang and the bayside show at The Float @ Marina Bay. Among the performers at this year's National Day Parade will be veterans (above) donning old police uniforms. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Area at the heart of National Day festivities will play host to 170,000 people on Aug 9

The Marina Bay area will be awash in a sea of red and white on National Day, as it turns into party central playing host to 170,000 people.

Of these, the 25,000 people who have tickets to the bayside show at The Float @ Marina Bay will be able to catch the parade at the Padang live on four LED screens: two centre screens measuring 10m by 8m, and two smaller side ones.

But those without tickets will still be able to catch the live parade broadcast at seven other celebration sites around the bay.

Giant LED screens will be set up at the Marina Bay Sands event plaza and square, the promontory, Merlion Park, the Esplanade, the Singapore Flyer and Marina Barrage.

Spectators at these sites can get a good view of parade favourites such as the Black Knights aerial display and the fireworks, which will be set off at Marina Bay.

Over 15 buildings around the bay, such as the Fullerton Hotel, Millenia Tower and One Raffles Place, will be lit up in red and white during the National Day Parade (NDP).

 
 

"What we're trying to do, because Padang has limited capacity, is to spread it out," said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, the reviewing officer at yesterday's parade rehearsal.

Those heading to Marina Bay are encouraged to download the CelebrateSG50! app, which will provide live updates of the crowd situation and weather forecast, as well as show and event times. During the parade finale, the app will display a flashing red and white animation, and spectators are encouraged to wave their mobile devices in the air to create a canvas of red and white.

Colonel Frederick Choo, chairman of engagement, celebrations and mobile column for the NDP, said centralising the festivities at one location allows Singaporeans to go out in full force to celebrate.

"When over 200,000 Singaporeans come together in one location, the atmosphere and spirit will be electrifying, and this is really befitting of our Golden Jubilee," he said.

The main show at the Padang will seat 26,000 people.

"The mood of NDP preparations is very upbeat. All the performers are very excited to be part of National Day and Singapore's 50th anniversary," said Dr Ng.

Over at the Padang yesterday, 26,000 people, including 15,000 Primary 5 pupils, enjoyed a sneak preview of the show.

Retired police officer Zailanee Othman, 56, who is in the vintage marching contingent, said: "I hope, through this, we can tell our younger generation to look back on history and learn from it."

He is among 25 veterans donning old police uniforms for the parade.

Rehearsals for the pre-parade show and post-parade party at The Float are also under way.

For mailroom officer Devi Sandanam, this year's celebration will be the first time she is singing and dancing for so many people.

"I'm honoured and excited to be here, but also a little nervous," said 52-year-old Ms Devi, who is performing as part of the PAssionArts Singing Network.

•Additional reporting by Lim Yi Han

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 26, 2015, with the headline 'Marina Bay all set to turn into party central'. Print Edition | Subscribe