Decor, photo booths to liven up experience

NDP-themed gantry, colour-coordinated seats, banners inject celebratory mood

Spectators will see this NDP-themed entrance gantry at the Padang. PHOTO: NDP 2019 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Spectators will see this NDP-themed entrance gantry at the Padang. PHOTO: NDP 2019 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Spectators heading to the Padang today to watch the National Day Parade (NDP) live will have something to keep them occupied as they make their way through security checks and to their seats.

Before spectators enter the parade venue, they will be greeted by an NDP-themed, 40m-wide gantry, decorated with LED balls.

Ten photo spots have been set up for people to take a quick snapshot for their Instagram feeds.

This is the first time such decorations and extras have been put up.

As it is the bicentennial year, the NDP infrastructure and decorations committee "wants to go the extra mile to enhance the experience of spectators when they arrive at the Padang", said Military Expert 7 Tan Mu Yen, who chairs the committee.

"Typically, NDP starts when the spectators are seated and enjoy the pre-parade segment," he said.

"This year, we wanted spectators to get into the celebratory mood even before they enter the seating gallery, so we injected some small touches to decorate the pathway spectators take to the Padang."

The banners and signage to guide spectators to their respective sectors have been printed in colours like blue, green and yellow this year to coincide with the colours of the sectors.

The colours of the chairs in the seating gallery have also been customised such that the phrase - NDP '19 - can be seen when there is no crowd present, while the words of the national anthem, Majulah Singapura, are visible on the facade of the National Gallery.

ME7 Tan said they were done in the hope that "those who pass by the Padang will be reminded of this special occasion and take photos to soak up the NDP atmosphere".

The performance area was also optimised with seats fitted into the unused stage area. An extra 2,000 seats in two rows were added.

Chief sales manager Bryan Wong, 54, who is attending the parade with his wife for the first time, said: "We balloted for tickets for many years but never got them. We're very lucky this time."

Mr Wong, whose birthday is on Aug 5, said the two tickets he received are a timely treat. He is looking forward to checking out the Instagrammable photo booths.

"We're super-excited to watch the parade and we want to take many photos to remember this day."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2019, with the headline 'Decor, photo booths to liven up experience'. Subscribe