President Tony Tan thanks NDP participants, lauds disabled performers at Istana reception

The National Day Parade at Singapore Sports Hub on Aug 9, 2016. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Participants of this year's National Day Parade (NDP) were treated to a thank you reception at the Istana by President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Mrs Mary Tan on Monday (Aug 22) afternoon.

Held at the National Stadium for the first time in a decade, the $39.4 million parade required its nearly 10,000 participants to put in gruelling hours of labour as performers, stagehands and volunteers.

In his speech at the reception, Dr Tan thanked representatives from various government bodies and voluntary welfare organisations for their "many hours of dedication, strong support and enthusiastic participation", saying that the NDP surpassed expectations.

He applauded the innovative performances at the parade, which included a formation of 26 aerialists who performed at up to 30m above ground while suspended from the stadium roof.

The aerial performances and indoor fireworks, which used technological advances to enhance storytelling, marked a "bold and forward-looking vision", said Dr Tan.

Dr Tan also tipped his hat to the hard work of NDP participants with disabilities.

The parade featured a collective song signing segment where hearing and deaf audience members alike followed sign language instructor Neoh Yew Kim and around 150 participants with special needs in hand-signing nationalist songs.

"With the inclusion of special needs participants and the collective song signing, we were also reminded of the continuous need to progress as a cohesive and inclusive society," said Dr Tan.

He said that the parade presented an inspiring vision of "our Singapore of Tomorrow".

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