Spectators to have a hand in lighting up Chingay Parade

Spectators in the stands at the F1 Pit Building during this year's Chingay Parade will become part of the show for the first time.

Announcing details of the parade yesterday, Chingay 2016 executive committee chairman Nah Juay Hng said they will be given hand-held light bulbs to wave during the fully illuminated opening and finale.

The annual street procession to mark Chinese New Year will be held over the nights of Feb 19 and 20. It started here in 1973.

Each night, around 25,000 people are expected to watch from the stands, with another 55,000 looking on from other vantage points.

Chingay performers showing off costumes adorned with recycled plastic-bag roses while holding the 150-page commemorative book published by the People's Association at a media conference for Chingay 2016 yesterday. The parade will be held over the nig
Chingay performers showing off costumes adorned with recycled plastic-bag roses while holding the 150-page commemorative book published by the People's Association at a media conference for Chingay 2016 yesterday. The parade will be held over the nights of Feb 19 and 20. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Themed Lights of Legacy, Brighter Singapore, the parade will feature 8,000 sky lanterns which have been illustrated by residents pledging their support towards upholding values such as resilience, social harmony and integrity.

Values like religious harmony and social cohesion will be reflected in the performances and choreography. Mr Ang Hak Seng, chief executive director of the People's Association (PA), said: "Only when we live our values as one people will we have a brighter Singapore. Brighter Singapore is about confidence in our future."

One highlight of this year's parade will be a 66m-long flying dragon, filled with helium. Another will be singing, dancing, drumming performances on a "sky stage" held up by a 50m-high towering crane.

The parade will involve a total of 8,000 performers making up 50 groups, 10 of which will come from other countries including Japan, the US and Malaysia.

The Chingay Night Fiesta, which was held in Orchard Road last year, will be held at the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park this year on Feb 21.

The PA has also published a 150-page commemorative book entitled Chingay 2015 - An SG50 Gift From The People To The Nation. The book, published with the help of Singapore Press Holdings subsidiary Focus Publishing, tells how the event has helped to celebrate the country's 50th anniversary since independence.

A thousand copies will given to those who participated in the Chingay Parade last year, and to schools.

Student Vinny Lai, 17, one of the performers in this year's parade, signed up to take part after hearing about the experience from her friends. The School of the Arts student said: "It's really fun, but it's tiring. It's worth it."

WATCH IT ONLINE
A sneak preview of Chingay 2016 http://str.sg/ZHi2

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2016, with the headline 'Spectators to have a hand in lighting up Chingay Parade'. Print Edition | Subscribe