Santa in town too early? No, says business association

Christmas decorations outside Orchard Gateway.
Christmas decorations outside Orchard Gateway. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Early Christmas decorations have already been set-up along Orchard Road.
Early Christmas decorations have already been set-up along Orchard Road.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - even though it is two months early.

The sight of Orchard Road all decked out in yuletide cheer as early as a few weeks ago has left some to wonder if the Christmas spirit has come a little too early this year.

But the Orchard Road Business Association (Orba) said yesterday that it has not deviated from a schedule that it follows every year.

Orba executive director Steven Goh said the association works six weeks backwards from New Year's Day to fix the date of the official light-up.

"But the installation work has to start as early as Oct 1 because the contractor is given only five weeks," he added.

 

These five weeks may not be enough, he said, as work can be done only between midnight and 6am. Even then, work is called off when it rains.

It can be difficult to install the lights quickly as a special rubber sleeve - to protect the trees - has to be placed on branches before lights can be hung on them.

The installation of the decorations is expected to take 15,120 man-hours. So far, 70 per cent of the work has been completed, he said.

Mr Goh also touched on concerns of the Christmas decorations overshadowing Deepavali, which is tomorrow.

He explained that the Christmas light-up works on a fixed schedule, as the festival falls on the same day every year, and that the light-ups are planned independently.

It is inevitable that festivities will cross paths, he added.

"There is no issue. Singapore is a multicultural society, and we respect one another," he told The Straits Times.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2016, with the headline 'Santa in town too early? No, says business association'. Print Edition | Subscribe