Chingay carnival returns this year on a larger scale

This year's Chingay carnival includes a mini karting circuit where visitors can race on go-karts, life-sized family games such as jenga, and art installations that visitors can leave their marks on.
This year's Chingay carnival includes a mini karting circuit where visitors can race on go-karts, life-sized family games such as jenga, and art installations that visitors can leave their marks on.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The Chingay parade will be held between 8pm and 9.30pm on Feb 15 and 16.
The Chingay parade will be held between 8pm and 9.30pm on Feb 15 and 16.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - This year's Chingay carnival will be a bigger one, stretching over three days, and will have attractions to draw the younger crowds.

The carnival, held for the first time last year to go with the annual Chingay parade, ran on the weekend after Chinese New Year.

This year, it will be on Feb 15 to Feb 17 in the open space behind the Singapore Flyer.

Highlights include a mini karting circuit where visitors can race on go-karts, life-sized family games such as jenga, and art installations that visitors can leave their marks on.

On Feb 17, the day after the Chingay parade ends, the F1 race track will transform into an adventure arena, where participants of all ages can tackle a series of 4m-high inflatable obstacle courses.

The People's Association (PA), which organises the Chingay parade, collaborated with event management company Invade Industry in the planning of the programme. It is the company that organised Artbox Singapore, a creative market that saw a record-breaking 660,000 visitors within six days in 2017.

Mr Lee Haoming, head of strategy at Invade, said the company helped to rebrand the carnival to attract younger people to Chingay.

"Chingay has great content and excellent performers, but it's such a waste that a lot of the younger generation do not watch it or understand the art and creativity behind the parade," he said on Thursday (Jan 24).

"Our objective was to create elements in the carnival that are relatable to the young," Mr Lee told The Straits Times on the sidelines of a media conference.

 

The carnival will open from 3pm to 10pm and admission is free. The parade will be held between 8pm and 9.30pm on Feb 15 and 16.

One of the parade's main highlights is the karting contingent from KFI Karting Circuit. More than 30 go-karts will zip along a 270m route - or more than one-third of the procession route - at 100km per hour.

The contingent is made up of riders from 15 countries such as Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom. About 10 children between the ages of nine and 12 will be driving the go-karts as well.

The professional and fun karts will accompany a 24m-long float - the longest float at this year's parade - that will house a life-size replica of a Formula car and 16 national athletes, including shuttler Loh Kean Yew.

Mr Richard Tan, founder of KF1 Karting Circuit, said: "We want to bring sports to Chingay and bring in participants from different countries and of different ages. This year, (PA) wants to engage the youths, and that is in line with go-karting as the younger generation loves go-karts."

To commemorate the Singapore Bicentennial, the parade's finale will showcase a 600-strong youth contingent that will don futuristic costumes and perform with props inspired by the screw-like DNA structure.

The DNA motif will also dominate the finale float's design to symbolise the younger generation's commitment to building a future together beyond 200 years, said Ms Jeanie Tan, chairman of Chingay 2019.

Another bicentennial highlight is a 270m-long painting by local artists, titled Past, Present and Future of Singapore. It depicts Singapore's growth from a fishing village to a modern metropolis and the country's future.

Ticket prices for Chingay 2019 range from $28.50 to $60.