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No tickets, no worries

Spectators gathering at Marina Square to catch the fireworks and aerial display. There was little standing room by the time the Parade started.
Spectators gathering at Marina Square to catch the fireworks and aerial display. There was little standing room by the time the Parade started.
Spectators in full force at One Fullerton as the Singapore Artillery executed the 21-gun salute.
Spectators in full force at One Fullerton as the Singapore Artillery executed the 21-gun salute.
Those without tickets for the Parade catching the action from a staircase at Marina Square.
Those without tickets for the Parade catching the action from a staircase at Marina Square.

Some 150,000 people cram the Marina Bay area to catch aerial display and fireworks live

They may not be part of the main ticketed show at the Padang, but the crowds at the Float and around Marina Bay enjoyed front-row views of the aerial display and fireworks.

And how close to the action they were - a Singapore Airlines A-380 flew so low across the bay that it almost ruffled spectators' hair; the Black Knights pulled off daring manoeuvres overhead and fireworks exploded just a stone's throw away.

There was hardly any standing room. Besides the 25,000 people at the satellite event at the floating platform, which required tickets, some 150,000 gathered in the bay area to join in and catch the National Day Parade on giant LED screens.

"We chose to ballot for Float tickets because we wanted something different," said Mr Chris Ho, 41, a general manager at a logistics firm, who was there with his wife and two children. "And the view here for fireworks and aerial display is so much better - it's unobstructed."

The voices of people singing at the floating platform could be heard all the way to the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) SkyPark.

Parade People

It's our first time at the Parade and we were most looking forward to the fireworks... I am looking forward to a greener Singapore.

OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE DANI JUNAIDI, 41, who was with his wife Rohana Samat, 38, an administrator

It was loudest when people sang Home and this year's theme song, Our Singapore.

For housewife Alicia Khong, 39, it was her first time at the observation deck in the MBS SkyPark. She said: "This is a very good spot. Here, you can get a good view of everything in Marina Bay."

The excitement was equally palpable at the Marina Barrage, where crowds had picnics and soaked in the atmosphere for free.

They, too, had an excellent view of the fireworks as one of the two barges where the fireworks were set off from was at the Marina Basin right next to the barrage.

As the celebration progressed, buildings around the bay were lit up in red and white during a light show.

During the parade finale, the entire bay was awash in a sea of red and white as the crowds waved light sticks in time with the music.

And the party was not over at the Float even after the Parade ended.

Spectators were treated to a post-parade concert with performances by local celebrities such as Tosh Zhang, Jeremy Monteiro and Rani Singam.

The post-party crowd from the Float also spilled onto the streets around the bay area.

Housewife Honey Leyan Aquino, 32, watched the Parade from Gardens by the Bay.

She was on her way home when she decided to party with her husband and daughter at the MBS event plaza instead.

She said: "We saw the long queues of people trying to get into the MRT station, so we decided to go to the concert and go home later. Anyway, my daughter really enjoys the music here!"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2015, with the headline 'No tickets, no worries'. Print Edition | Subscribe