Carnival at Marina Bay offers thrills and takes some visitors down memory lane

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The Prudential Marina Bay Carnival features 22 rides and 29 game booths, including thrill rides such as the Star Flyer and Mach 5. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Carnival goers try their luck at the Ring Toss game booth. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - A self-confessed thrill seeker, Ms Rozana Mhd Zin has always loved scary rides since she was a young girl.

The designer, who is now in her 40s, often thinks about the good old days when carnivals were held regularly in housing estates.

That was why an outing on Saturday (Dec 16) to the inaugural Prudential Marina Bay Carnival with her niece was like a trip down memory lane for Ms Rozana.

"There were always neighbourhood expos when I was little, and in my teens, I used to like going on this scary boat swing ride called The Viking at East Coast Park," she recalled.

"This carnival at Marina Bay brings back a lot of memories for me. I want to try all the rides."

Madam Esther Tay, who was at the carnival with her family members, felt the same.

Said the former life science researcher: "Coming here brings back fond memories. When I was in my teens, there were so many heartland carnivals."

The two women were among the early-birds waiting for the carnival to start at 4pm.

But a thunderstorm marred their plans briefly and they had to wait under a tent for the skies to clear.

Guests were not allowed to enter the carnival for safety reasons and were admitted only at around 4.45pm.

But it was worth the wait, said student Sam Ng, 22, after he rode on one of the carnival's more popular attractions, Star Flyer - a carousel in which riders' legs dangle as they spin 35m above the ground.

The carnival is presented by Pico Pro, the event creation arm of the Pico Group, and insurance company Prudential Singapore is its title sponsor. Pico Pro's organising team works with an international community of showmen to put the event together.

The carnival, which occupies a space larger three football fields, features 22 rides and attractions as well as 29 game booths. Although admission is free, each game and ride costs at least $4 per go.

The loudest screams could be heard from a ride known as the Mach 5 where thrill seekers sit in gigantic hammer-like structure which swings to a maximum height of 55m.

Other favourites include a roller coaster and the swing-like Pirate Ship.

But not everyone was there for the scary rides.

An Indonesian tourist, who wanted to be known only as Madam Dewi, 35, shuddered as she watched the screaming Mach 5 riders.

Lugging a huge stuffed toy, she said: "I won this at the ring toss. I'm just here to play the games and will give the rides a miss."

The Prudential Marina Bay Carnival kicked off on Friday and will end on April 1 next year.

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