So far, I have attended National Day parades at the old National Stadium, the Marina Bay floating platform and the Padang.
The old National Stadium was a good venue. It was more contained and, logistically and traffic-wise, it seemed easier to manage. It was an open stadium, so the fly-past and fireworks could easily be seen. In addition, it could fill up to 55,000 people, so more could be given the chance to attend the parade.
However, the new National Stadium, with the retractable roof, may not be so ideal.
Like the old National Stadium, it can hold more people than the Padang or the floating platform. But the main disadvantage is that the spectators inside will not be able to get a full view of the planes flying over, and the fireworks, even when the roof is fully open.
In addition, the commandos will not be able to parachute into the stadium even if the roof is open.
The parade is held at the Padang every five years. It has a small sitting capacity of about 25,000. If you sit at the section facing City Hall, you will probably not be able to see much of the fireworks, since they are fired from the Marina Bay area.
Also, you will have to crane your neck backwards to see the fly-past and you can get only a glimpse of it by the time the planes fly over you.
I reckon the floating platform is the best place to watch the parade. All the action is right in front of you. You can see the fireworks, the fly-past and even the navy in action.
In addition, the surrounding bay area is usually crowded, as many people want to see the action up close. Also, many businesses around the area make a roaring business during that period.
Next year's parade will be held at the National Stadium. And it could be held there permanently other than at the Padang every five years.
But I hope we can still watch the National Day Parade at the floating platform. Perhaps it can be done on a rotational basis, between the National Stadium and the floating platform, with the parade being held at the Padang every five years.
Goh Geok Teck