SINGAPORE- It will be a colourful Christmas at Orchard Road this year.
Multi-coloured Christmas trees and glittering blue snowflakes will line the shopping street from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura from this Saturday.
The many colours reflect Singapore's diversity as it celebrates 50 years of nationhood next year, said Mrs May Sng, chairman of the Orchard Road Business Association (Orba), which is behind the light-up. The festive decorations the past few years had stuck to one or two colours, she added.
Adding a nostalgic touch is a photo exhibition on the past Christmas celebrations at Orchard Road, dating back to 1984. To be held outside Shaw House Urban Plaza, it commemorates 50 years of tourism development in Singapore.
Both the light-up, back for its 31st year, and the exhibition will run from Nov 15 to Jan 1. Called Christmas on A Great Street, the light-up stretches 2.88km and will start at 6.30pm each evening during the seven-week period.
Other highlights include a mass carolling event at the Tong Building plaza on Christmas Eve and a concert on Christmas Day. There will also be specially designed glittering structures set up at different points along the shopping belt for shoppers to snap a photo with. They come in the form of a Christmas gift box, photo frame and window, among others.
Orba has raised almost $3 million for the Community Chest through these Christmas set pieces, other forms of corporate donations and the government's dollar-for-dollar matching of all donations made to the charity. The pieces will feature logos of corporate entities that contributed to the charity.
Visitors will also be able to walk under the Christmas lights along a vehicle-free Orchard Road on the night of Dec 6. The street's third pedestrian night will feature outdoor screenings of local films, bouncy castles for children and photo opportunities with Christmas mascots, said Singapore Tourism Board's director of lifestyle precincts development, Ms Tan Yen Nee.
The pedestrianisation of Orchard Road is a six-month initiative where the street is closed to cars every first Saturday night of each month until March next year.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam will switch on the lights during a ceremony at Shaw House Urban Plaza on Nov 15.
Volunteers will be giving out 5,000 multi-coloured light sticks outside Ion Orchard that day, and the organisers have pledged to donate $1 to the Community Chest for every light stick distributed to the public.
Twelve malls will also be vying for the title of Best Dressed Building this year. The public can vote via the free mobile app, @Orchard, between Nov 15 and Nov 30 and stand to win $3,000 worth of shopping vouchers.