The first Christmas light-up along Orchard Road in 1984 lasted just 20 days but people loved it so much that it made a comeback the following year. In its second year, the light-up ran for 37 days, and there was plenty of discussion about which display was the prettiest.
These days, Christmas does not feel like Christmas without this annual tradition and signature light-up, which now runs for about six weeks from mid-November to early January.
And you can bet expectations will be high when the Orchard Road Business Association (Orba) launches the annual light-up this Saturday, with President Halimah Yacob officiating at the ceremony. The light-up will be on till Jan 1.
Christmas On A Great Street will see Orchard Road transformed into an enthralling world of light-reflective tunnels and a magical forest of trees dripping with lights.
The 2.88km thoroughfare, stretching from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura, will be - as this year's theme suggests - an "endless wonder" of fun and fantasy.
Visitors are invited to escape to an enchanted world of colours designed to create an immersive dream-like experience, illuminated by a shimmering web of lights, interactive streetside installations and a dazzling array of festive ornaments.
One of the set pieces, The Walk of Wonder, situated in front of Forum The Shopping Mall, is a 20m-long passage made of special reflective fabric and adorned with fairy lights.
Another spectacular feature is the Tree of Time, a 4.7m-tall tree in front of Ngee Ann City with a unique, flowing silhouette and topped with a clock that counts down to Christmas Day.
Yet another highlight is the Enchanted Tree, an awe-inspiring structure with an illuminated canopy, in front of Wisma Atria.
For the first time, the lights will be turned on at 3pm, instead of 6.30pm as in previous years. This will allow visitors to enjoy the day effect of the decorations.
The lights will stay on until midnight, except on Fridays and Saturdays, when they will continue to twinkle until 2am.
"In line with this year's theme, Endless Wonder, we hope the enthralling atmosphere of lights and sound will transport visitors to a world where they can forget the daily demands of life and take time to enjoy the holiday season," said Orba chairman Mark Shaw.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2017, with the headline 'Dreaming of a white Christmas'. Print Edition | Subscribe
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