SINGAPORE - This year's National Day Parade (NDP) will be open to the public, with almost every seat at the Marina Bay floating platform expected to be filled for the Aug 9 bash.
After two years of smaller-scale celebrations, the NDP organising committee is targeting the upper bounds of the venue's capacity of 25,000 to 26,000.
National Education shows for Primary 5 pupils will return, as well as two ticketed previews. Details for the balloting of tickets will be released later.
These plans are barring any later changes to Covid-19 restrictions, organisers said at a media briefing at the floating platform on Thursday (June 2).
"This year, we hope to capture the nation's journey as we emerge stronger from Covid-19," said chairman of the organising committee and commander of the army’s 3rd division, Brigadier-General Goh Pei Ming.
"We hope Singaporeans will actively participate and come together to join in the celebrations, which will be safe, exciting and meaningful."
Whether spectators must be vaccinated against Covid-19 to attend the parade will depend on the prevailing national policy then, while all performers have been jabbed, he added.
Themed “Stronger Together, Majulah!”, NDP 2022 coincides with the 55th anniversary of national service and aims to encourage Singaporeans to “forge ahead as a united and strong people towards a better future”, the organising committee said.
In the manner of national day celebrations in the past two years, the state flag, carried by Chinook helicopters, will fly around the island on Aug 9, along with the iconic F-16 fighter jet flypast.
The fireworks finale will also see simultaneous displays set off in multiple heartland areas.
A special addition is a combined land, air and sea security operations demonstration, called Total Defence Display, with security personnel and the military showcasing how they neutralise threats.
This was last seen in 2017.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the organising committee is retaining heartland celebrations, which had been added during the pandemic as a way to decentralise the festivities.
The heartland celebrations, organised with the People’s Association, are scaled up this year and will take place at five locations spread out across Singapore on the weekend of Aug 6 and 7, with carnivals and exhibitions expected to draw tens of thousands of people.
At these still unrevealed locations, there will also be displays of military, Singapore Civil Defence Force, and police vehicles, such as the Leopard 2SG main battle tank, the rigid hull inflatable boat and the RBS 70 ground-based air defence system.
The Red Lions will conduct freefall jumps at two heartland areas yet to be announced.
The organisers said the NDP pack this year is designed by aspiring artists with disabilities and will be distributed to spectators at the floating platform. In 2020, this was given out to all households who wanted it via community centres or clubs and residents committee centres.
Currently, there are no capacity limits for live performances, Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) and sports events, although all participants for Mice events with more than 500 people must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Mr Ismadi Hussain, 42, was excited that ballots for tickets would return after two years, especially as this could be the last time the NDP is held at the floating platform before construction of NS Square begins in the area.
The stage on water holds advantages over other venues like Sports Hub as it can quite easily combine land, air and sea elements. Live audiences would, for instance, find it more difficult to view aerial displays at Sports Hub.
“I’ll definitely be balloting. Last time I got a ticket was years ago. The seating environment also feels more spacious at the floating platform,” he said.