NDP 2018

A playground for all ages

A display of 18m-long lighted garlands, each made up of more than 200 balloons, swaying gracefully on stage as performers masterfully create beautiful shapes and formations with them.
A display of 18m-long lighted garlands, each made up of more than 200 balloons, swaying gracefully on stage as performers masterfully create beautiful shapes and formations with them.
It is a throwback to childhood for some Singaporeans as a float in the shape of the iconic dragon playground, as well as others featuring the dove and pelican playground designs, sails through the waters surrounding Marina Bay.
It is a throwback to childhood for some Singaporeans as a float in the shape of the iconic dragon playground, as well as others featuring the dove and pelican playground designs, sails through the waters surrounding Marina Bay.
The sea of bright lights is extended to the audience as they wave their light bubbles with the performers, symbolising the nation’s hopes and aspirations.
The sea of bright lights is extended to the audience as they wave their light bubbles with the performers, symbolising the nation’s hopes and aspirations.
MR PEH SWEE LIM
MR PEH SWEE LIM
JOTNOOR SINGH (left), 12, who was with his brother Jasdev, 14.
JOTNOOR SINGH (left), 12, who was with his brother Jasdev, 14.
MR RAGHURAM KARUMURU, 44, with his wife Sandhya Raghuram, 38.
MR RAGHURAM KARUMURU, 44, with his wife Sandhya Raghuram, 38.
MS SHAZANA LATIFF (in white), 34, a finance administration manager who was with her daughters - Laiqa, three, and Lana, six months old - and cousin Waui Hamid, 30, a designer.
MS SHAZANA LATIFF (in white), 34, a finance administration manager who was with her daughters - Laiqa, three, and Lana, six months old - and cousin Waui Hamid, 30, a designer.
MS YAU YING SHAN, 35, an engineer who was with her daughter Yeo Le Ying, four.
MS YAU YING SHAN, 35, an engineer who was with her daughter Yeo Le Ying, four.

Many Singaporeans were transported back to their childhood as the show segment took a nostalgic turn with the action moving from the stage to the water.

Themed "Our Hopes, Our Aspirations", the second part of the show saw 18 vessels glide into the audience's view, creating a dream-like atmosphere.

The floats featured the dragon, dove and pelican playground designs, which many Singaporeans hold dear as part of their childhood.

On one of the boats was Emily Tay, the youngest performer at this year's National Day Parade. The seven-year-old from the Marymount Convent dance club co-curricular activity exclaimed: "I'm excited to see the fireworks."

There was a flurry of lights on the stage as more than 700 primary and secondary school students formed kaleidoscopic formations with lanterns. The sea of lights was extended to the audience as Singaporeans waved the light bubbles distributed in the fun packs along with the performers, symbolising the nation's hopes and aspirations.

Twelve 18m-tall garlands, each with more than 200 balloons, swayed gracefully on stage, controlled masterfully by 36 young men. It took two men to handle each garland, with one acting as spotter.

  • Dreams

  • 18

    Number of boats and floats in the water procession

Pulling each garland can lead to a drag of about 20kg, according to a garland holder, Mr Ronnie Lai, 22.

"The challenge is fighting against the wind and having the garlands in close proximity to one another as there is a risk of entanglement," said Mr Lai, who is waiting to enrol at the National University of Singapore. "But the best part is when we run out and hear the children shouting in excitement when they see the balloons."


PEACE AND STABILITY

My wish for Singapore is peace and stability for everyone.

MR PEH SWEE LIM , 70, a taxi driver.


CHERISH DREAMS

My hope is for Singaporeans to cherish their dreams and have success in working towards their future.

JOTNOOR SINGH, 12, who was with his brother Jasdev, 14. After Jotnoor had answered, Jasdev said: "My wish is less cliched. It is to maintain the multicultural society we have."


A MORE INCLUSIVE NATION

I hope for Singapore to be the best, as it is now. And I hope we can become more inclusive and helpful in terms of education, and help more groups like senior citizens or the physically disabled. I hope I can help contribute to that, too.

MR RAGHURAM KARUMURU, 44, with his wife Sandhya Raghuram, 38. The couple, who are both IT project managers, were at the parade for the first time, after watching it on TV for many years.


MORE SOCIAL INTEGRATION

I'd like more social integration across the races and classes, and foreign talent, especially because they contribute so much to Singapore.

MS SHAZANA LATIFF, 34, a finance administration manager who was with her daughters - Laiqa, three, and Lana, six months old - and cousin Waui Hamid, 30, a designer, in the field outside Victoria Theatre.


PEACE AND PROSPERITY

I hope that we will continue to be prosperous and peaceful.

MS YAU YING SHAN, 35, an engineer who was with her daughter Yeo Le Ying, four, who said: "I want to see a lot of fireworks!"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2018, with the headline 'A playground for all ages'. Print Edition | Subscribe