SINGAPORE - The carnival is coming to town. The Prudential Marina Bay Carnival, which will occupy an area the size of 3½ football fields, will open in the Marina Bay area on Dec 8.
The 25,000 sq m fairground will span The Promontory and the Bayfront Event Space, and is billed as the largest carnival - or travelling funfair - in Singapore.
More than 40 rides and games - many brought in from European countries such as Germany, Italy and Britain - will be set up.
At a media conference on Nov 23, Mr Barnabas Chia, 36, who heads the carnival's organising team, said: "This event is the first of its scale. We are bigger than any other carnival ever held in Singapore. We have also brought in Singapore's largest collection of more than 30 games stalls, and over a million prizes await."
Among the rides unveiled at the conference is the Star Flyer, a 35m-tall tower ride that enables visitors to take in a 360-degree view of the Singapore skyline while experiencing the sensation of flying. This is the first time the ride is in Singapore.
Another ride is The Booster Maxx, which goes up 55m above ground and spins clockwise and counter-clockwise at up to 96 kmh.
For families seeking milder rides, there is the Log Flume, with its gentle turns, as well as the Apple Coaster, where the little ones can get their first taste of a rollercoaster ride.
The rides are owned and operated by an international community of showmen of 22 nationalities, who have been enthralling and delighting audiences at the biggest fairs and carnivals around the world, such as Winter Wonderland in London's Hyde Park and The Great European Carnival in Hong Kong.
One of them is Mr Frederick Stokes Jr, 34, a Briton, whose family has been in the carnival business for at least six generations.
He said that from what he was told, his great-great-grandfather had worked in a travelling freakshow and funhouse in Britain in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His nomadic family has travelled all over Europe, as well as to Dubai, Thailand, China and Oman.
This will the first time his family is working in a Singapore carnival. Together with his brothers Spencer and Davis, he will bring in rides such as Booster Maxx and Cyclone Coaster, a classic coaster ride.
He says: "I have been in charge of rides since I was 16 years old. Operating them is my life. Over the years, I know everything about my rides - how to maintain them, how fast they should go, and what makes them fun.
"I'm extremely excited to be in Singapore, and I'm sure we can give Singaporeans an experience to remember."
During the carnival, musicians such as local powerhouse Kexin Tay and hip-hop rapper TheLionCityBoy will entertain audiences. Food lovers will also be able to enjoy fare such as chendol soft serve and lemongrass chicken rice bowls.
The event is presented by Pico Pro, the event creation and organising arm of the Pico group, and its title sponsor is insurance company Prudential Singapore.
Prudential Marina Bay Carnival
Where: The Promontory and Bayfront Event Space
When: Dec 8 to April 1, 2018, 4 to 11pm (except on Christmas and New Year's Eve, when it will open at 3pm)
Admission: Free, credits for the rides and games start from $4, can be purchased onsite or online at http://marinabaycarnival.sg.