Orchard Road was all aglow Saturday night (Nov 16) as the 2019 Christmas lights were turned on in a light-up ceremony officiated by President Halimah Yacob.
The annual event held at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza is part of the Community Chest’s year-end fund-raising and community engagement efforts, organised in collaboration with the Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA).
"The theme of this year’s light-up, from the carefully curated programme to the decorative set pieces, underscores the true spirit of Christmas," said ORBA chairman Mark Shaw. "We hope to create joyful memories for all residents and visitors as they enjoy their time on Orchard Road this festive season."
This year’s Christmas street décor is in a new showcase format designed to provide a more immersive experience for pedestrians as they walk along the precinct this festive season.
Singapore’s famous shopping belt has been divided into three zones: Tanglin, Orchard and Somerset, with each featuring gift boxes, snowflakes or this year’s icon – little Santas. Accompanying them along the street are more than 30 glass shards dressed to look like giant-sized festive greeting cards. The lamp-post decorations that line Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura will also consist of little Santas hanging from the arches.
Also new to this year’s street decorations is a welcome arch framing the junction of Tanglin and Grange Road. The dress-up is also extended towards Grange Road and Orchard Link for the first time in the event’s 36-year history.
Other Insta-worthy sights include interactive set pieces on the pavements of Orchard Road like a giant Santa riding on his reindeer; a 4m-tall tunnel made up of large Christmas icons, and a station where one can help to pull Santa’s reindeer.
THREE CHRISTMAS VILLAGES
Another highlight of the festivities,The Great Christmas Village returns for the third year and will run from Nov 23 to Dec 26. But instead of basing the marquee event at the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, it will be spread over three venues this year: *SCAPE, Grange Road Car Park and Shaw House Urban Plaza.
With a combined area of 7796 sq ft (more than double the size of the previous venue at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza), visitors can look forward to more than 30 amusement rides and game booths, up from the previous four.
The villages at *SCAPE and Shaw House Urban Plaza will host family-friendly rides such as the popular duplex carousel, pirate ship and London train. The more thrilling rides like the bumper cars and Turbo, a ride that spins horizontally can be found at the Grange Road Car Park.
Ride credits can be pre-bought on the event's website with an early bird promotion from Oct 22, or at ticketing counters at the three locations as well as online when the villages open. Kiddy rides go from five credits each and each ride credit costs S$1. Mastercard cardholders can enjoy greater value, with an additional 10 ride credits for every 50 ride credits purchased with their Mastercard credit or debit cards at the Great Christmas Village. They can also skip the queues and take the express lane to enjoy the rides.
Two thematic pop-ups are the new additions to this year’s Great Christmas Village. The first is Nom Nom Nom, where revellers can dig into street food from 14 food truck vendors that will be shuttling between the Christmas villages at *SCAPE and Shaw House Urban Plaza. The second pop-up is Mini TOYBOX, which will feature Hasbro toys, My Little Pony makeovers and a NERF obstacle course.
Adding to the festive atmosphere are nightly performances at *SCAPE by singers such as Estelle Fly, Shye and Charlene Su, leading up to the Christmas Eve Countdown Concert. Multimedia performances, interactive activities and Christmas carolling will greet shoppers along the pedestrian walkway from ION Orchard to Wisma Atria from Dec 16 to 23.
The Greatest Gift will run from Nov 16 to Jan 1. For details, visit christmas.orchardroad.org.