Crowd-based LED display, bicentennial floats at NDP

This year's National Day Parade features more than 2,300 youth and children. This is in line with the theme Our Singapore, which calls on Singaporeans to be pioneers of the future.
The show segment for this year's National Day Parade will feature crowd-pleasing staples such as laser displays, giant props and colourful performances.
The show segment for this year's National Day Parade will feature crowd-pleasing staples such as laser displays, giant props and colourful performances.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Show segment will involve more than 2,700 performers, with most of them aged below 35

The 27,000 spectators at the Padang for this year's National Day Parade (NDP) will be part of a massive synchronised light display.

Parade-goers for the first time will be issued LED wristbands that light up in synchronisation with the parade's acts, allowing them to become an integral part of the show.

Other highlights include a special bicentennial segment, which features eight floats representing longstanding local institutions.

The parade will also feature a combined schools' marching band and singalong sessions with classic NDP songs such as Stand Up For Singapore.

The highlights were shared at a media event yesterday.

More than 2,700 performers - of which 85 per cent are aged below 35 - are involved in the parade's show segment this year.

This is the largest proportion of young people to participate in the parade's show segment in the last decade.

  • Brunei Sultan, Jokowi and Mahathir to attend parade

  • The leaders of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia will attend Singapore's National Day Parade to celebrate its bicentennial year, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) announced yesterday.

    Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad have accepted the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to attend the parade, which will be held at the Padang next month.

    A PMO spokesman said it was happy to confirm the news, and added: "Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia are close neighbours and friends of Singapore and we have deep historical ties with these countries."

    The bicentennial marks the 200th anniversary of the British arrival in Singapore, which set in motion the country's development into a trading port and modern metropolis.

    Toh Ting Wei

The chairman of the show committee, Colonel Lim Han Yong, said the show segment celebrates the timeless values that have defined Singaporeans across generations: unity, resilience and the courage to dream.

Even as the show looks back on Singapore's past, it will also look forward, and the cast of more than 2,300 youth complements this theme, the colonel said.

"We started off the design of the National Day Parade with our bicentennial commemoration in mind, and the key thing we wanted to focus on is to learn from the past and focus on the future," he said.


One of the main ideas of the parade, Col Lim added, was to involve more youth in the production.

The show will have six acts, all in line with the NDP theme of Our Singapore.

It kicks off with a prologue commemorating Singapore's bicentennial, in which the eight floats will be featured.

The organisations represented have played a role in building Singapore. They include Robinsons, which was established in 1858, and the Singapore General Hospital, which was set up in 1821.

The Singapore Army's Red Lions, a crowd favourite, will free-fall from a height of 3,048m during the same segment.

Other NDP staples such as laser displays, giant props and dances by brightly costumed performers will be in this year's show as well.

At the end of each act, there will be singalong sessions with NDP classics such as Count On Me, Singapore and One People, One Nation, One Singapore.

Singer-songwriter Dick Lee, who has returned to helm this year's parade as the creative director, said that the show will have a sense of familiarity.

"I'm just trying to entertain everybody more than ever before, and add new technology (such as the LED wristbands) which are really going to change the game," he said.

The performers have been training at least once a week for the past few months.

Nishaad Gopalakrishnan, 13, said he has spent at least three hours every week since February rehearsing for his segment.

The thought of performing to such a large audience is a thrill for Nishaad, who will be performing with his schoolmates from Temasek Secondary School in the show's fifth act.

"I'm looking forward to my parents watching me dance. I want to make them proud of me," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2019, with the headline 'Crowd-based LED display, bicentennial floats at NDP'. Print Edition | Subscribe