“Majulah Singapura” – we’ve sung the words day after day growing up. And now here comes that one special occasion where all Singaporeans join together to belt our national anthem in full unified force. Every year on 9August, the National Day Parade [“NDP”] becomes the nexus for Singaporeans everywhere, where they can celebrate our nation’s birthday as one whilst enjoying an evening of patriotic entertainment. And this year promises to be no different at The Float @ Marina Bay. Here’s a little preview of what you can expect.
A nine-part show
Following its “Many Stories…One Singapore” theme, the show segment of NDP 2013 will be presented in the format of a variety show, a first of its kind amongst previous NDPs. Telling distinctly Singaporean stories in nine conceptual parts, these incorporate the concepts of Play, Build, Reinvent, Express, Represent, Aspire, Embrace, Love, and Party. This marks a bold and daring endeavour that will push this year’s NDP 25 minutes longer than its predecessors. So you’ll certainly get your money’s worth if you’re in attendance.
Directed by writer-performer Selena Tan, the story-based show aims to arouse feelings of excitement, pride, and nostalgia, so that everyone young and old can get in on the action. And there’s bound to be entertainment galore with giant beach balls, extreme sportsmen and also a giant human LED screen display. We even hear that the Merlion will be making a guest appearance. How so? Guess you’ll have to wait and see!
The stage seamelessly transforms into a football pitch - one of the many surprises at this year's show
A game of tones
Who says you have to be a performance artiste to grace the NDP stage? Unlike previous NDPs featuring ensembles of professional choirs and musical celebrities, this year’s theme song will be sung by the “Sing-A-Nation” choir, a group made up of everyday Singaporeans from all walks of life. Out of 200 auditionees, 68 Singaporeans will be given the honour of immortalizing their voices in NDP history with the song “One Singapore”.
Out of these 68 passionate members, some consist of groups ranging from acapella duos (The Baker Brothers), to humble families (Chiewonit), to even young-at-heart senior groups (Vintage Voices). But only one group will receive the ultimate opportunity of leading the choir for the whole nation to see. The winning team will be determined following a healthy competition which will last four weeks. So if you have a favourite team that you’re rooting for, don’t forget to come on down and sing your hearts out with them.
A regimental spectacular
Of course it wouldn’t be much of a parade without a little showing off from the military. Like the multi-layered show segment, the military showcase titled “Dynamic Defence Display” will also feature seven parts of its own. From the anti-swarming tactics of the Singapore Police Force, to the fire-fighting strategies of the Singapore Civil Defence Force, this will be one stunt show to remember! And not forgetting the tricky maritime manoeuvres of the Republic of Singapore Navy and the roaring acrobatics of F-16s in the skies. Together with a colourful parade made up 31 contingents from the military, uniformed groups, and social organisations, this display of strength and unity never fails to make us feel proud to be Singaporean.
Get ready to cover those ears when these F-16s fly over you
Unfortunately this generous bonus item will only be supplied to those who physically attend the NDP, or unless you have a trustworthy friend who’ll help sneak one out for you. But if you’re one of the lucky ones who’s got a seat, then this bundle of goodies will certainly get you into the swing of things. Whether you’re itching to make a ridiculous amount of noise with the provided clap banners or flutes (cutely inspired by the Angklung, a Malay instrument), or wishing to stand out with their extendable light sticks and sticker tattoos, there’s something for everyone in the funpack, which is itself a neat looking souvenir no less.
The Funpack contains all kinds of goodies this year
Fireworks and familiarities
While every NDP aims to be different each year, there are however some things we sincerely wish don’t change. And these are the little consistent charms of the NDP which tug at our heartstrings. Take for instance the intense moments where we cross our fingers as the Red Lions Parachuting Team float their way down to the ground, and land safely to a relieved ovation. Or even the customary things like the arrival of the People’s Action Party, where we make bets if Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew flashes a smile or not. And last but not least, there’s always the much anticipated fireworks display, filling the skies with deafening explosions as the parade closes off with songs we all love to sing along to.
National Day Parade 2013 | Date: 9 Aug | Venue: The Float @ Marina Bay