Welcoming 2016 in Singapore

New Year celebrations in town, heartland

Revellers all ready to welcome 2016 at the Siloso Beach Party, which started at 6pm on Thursday and lasted till 6am yesterday. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong meeting residents at the countdown party held at Sengkang Riverside Park. (Top) Fireworks go
Fireworks going off at Marina Bay at midnight in a display that lasted about eight minutes. ST PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM, LIM SIN THAI
Revellers all ready to welcome 2016 at the Siloso Beach Party, which started at 6pm on Thursday and lasted till 6am yesterday. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong meeting residents at the countdown party held at Sengkang Riverside Park. (Top) Fireworks go
Revellers in front of the Victoria Concert Hall after ringing in the new year. ST PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM, LIM SIN THAI
Participants picking up litter after the countdown party at Sengkang Riverside Park.
Participants picking up litter after the countdown party at Sengkang Riverside Park.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Revellers all ready to welcome 2016 at the Siloso Beach Party, which started at 6pm on Thursday and lasted till 6am yesterday. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong meeting residents at the countdown party held at Sengkang Riverside Park. (Top) Fireworks go
Revellers all ready to welcome 2016 at the Siloso Beach Party, which started at 6pm on Thursday and lasted till 6am yesterday.PHOTO: SENTOSA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong meeting residents at the countdown party held at Sengkang Riverside Park.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong meeting residents at the countdown party held at Sengkang Riverside Park. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Partygoers camp out early, braving showers to snag best spots to catch the entertainment

The rain could not keep Singaporeans away as they turned out in full force at countdown parties around the island to ring in the new year.

In true Singaporean fashion, partygoers eager to snag the best spots had camped out from Thursday afternoon at Merlion Park, across Marina Bay's new Jubilee Bridge, and in the heartland in Bedok, Sengkang and Woodlands, despite persistent showers that came and went throughout the afternoon.

An estimated 300,000 poncho-clad and umbrella-toting revellers at the Marina Bay countdown party were rewarded when the overcast sky cleared up for a spectacular firework display at midnight that lasted about eight minutes.

Photography enthusiast Francis Chia, who had set up his camera there since 3pm, said: "It's a special occasion today and it marks the end of our Golden Jubilee year."

As the clock struck midnight, sprays of gold, red and green lit up the night sky above the Fullerton Hotel and the Marina Bay Sands to loud booms that could be heard as far away as Orchard Road.

  • Bookends: Resolutions


  • TOGETHER FOR SG51

    Whatever 2016 brings, we have one another. Happy SG51, everyone! ''

    FINANCE MINISTER HENG SWEE KEAT, on Facebook



    CAN-DO SPIRIT

    To start truly believing in myself, that I can make it as far as I want to go in everything I do. Also, eat healthier.

    SEAGAMESGOLDMEDALSPRINTER SHANTIPEREIRA



    FOCUS ON FAMILY AND RESIDENTS

    Making time for family, as I have my second child coming along. Secondly, with a new GRC, I want to see how we can work to better serve our residents.

    MR ALEX YAM, a Member of Parliament for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC and co-creator of the Lee Kuan Yew tribute ribbon



    A YEAR TO LOOK FORWARD TO

    We look back with gratitude and forward with confidence.

    WORKERS' PARTY CHAIRMAN AND ALJUNIED GRC MP SYLVIA LIM, in an Instagram post on Thursday

At the Marina Bay floating platform, more than 10,000 people were treated to a mini Adam Lambert concert at a ticketed countdown party.

The singer and his band surprised many in the audience when they played on for another 40 minutes after the firework display and the live telecast ended.

The mood was no less euphoric in the heartland.

Over at Sengkang Riverside Park, about 5,000 residents of Ang Mo Kio and Sengkang ushered in the new year with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who stole the show from an Elvis Presley impersonator when he arrived at 11pm. In the final hour of 2015, the participants set a new Singapore record, using 1,600 light sticks to complete a formation of the word "Love".

Mr Lee, who was mobbed by residents eager to have their picture taken with him, said: "I wish everybody a very happy 2016: good health, prosperity, peace and happiness within your family."

At the Countdown @ North party in Woodlands, residents were on their feet for a zumba workout and entertained by local celebrities such as singer Sufie Rashid. Some 8,000 people were at the event, capped by a 10-minute firework display.

Over at Bedok, families shared an intimate celebration as they bonded over nostalgic carnival activities and were treated to variety performances throughout the evening.

As partygoers dispersed just after midnight at Marina Bay, some 300 cleaners sprang into action to clear empty drink bottles, cigarette butts and other litter strewn across the ground. While some 350 bins were placed in the area, they were inaccessible at times due to the crowd control barricades, said Chye Thiam Maintenance's cleaning supervisor, Mr Gavaskar. "They said: 'No choice.' So they just threw their rubbish on the floor," he added.

However, student David Kwok, 23, was among those seen cleaning up after themselves. "It's only right to pick up your own trash. It isn't a lot of effort if we all do it, and it will definitely help the cleaners."

It took a total of seven hours to clean up the entire area, with about 30,000kg of rubbish collected, according to a spokesman for the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2016, with the headline 'Celebrations in town, heartland'. Print Edition | Subscribe