SINGAPORE: Fireworks on the hour and a wider range of activities spread over four areas are some of the highlights revellers can look forward to as they usher in the new year at the upcoming Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2018.
More than 350,000 people are expected to turn up for Singapore’s largest New Year Countdown, organisers announced at a media conference on Thursday (Dec 21).
The event, which is in its 13th instalment, is organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
This year, the public will be able to enjoy firework displays in a new, linear configuration along the bay. The displays - every hour starting at 8.05pm - will each be a minute long, except the final one at the stroke of midnight, which will last six minutes.
Other highlights include more places to catch the light shows. In addition to Fullerton Hotel - where the five-minute facade projections will take place every 30 minutes from Dec 26 to New Year's Eve, the public can also turn their attention to the Merlion and the exterior of the Art Science Museum, which will display light projections from Dec 29 onwards.
This year’s countdown will also feature a host of activities spread across four activity hubs. These will be at The Float @ Marina Bay where the public can enjoy the fireworks as well as shopping, the Promontory and the Bayfront Event Space for the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival and the adjacent Civic District, which will be turned into a car-free zone.
URA’s place management director Jason Chen said this is to cater to different interests.
For example, museums in the Civic District will have a series of activities and programmes and opening hours will be extended all the way to midnight, Mr Chen said.
Mr Chen added URA is working closely with the police and other authorities to ensure the security and safety of revellers.
“There are necessary plans put in place to allow us to manage the crowd effectively. For example for (crowd) dispersal, we hope that the public can also exercise some patience and understanding as we try to allow the crowd to disperse from the area after the entire event is over.”
Separately, the Singapore Police Force said in a statement that a number of units have been mobilised for the event. These include the Auxiliary Police for crowd control and officers from the Special Operations Command, Public Transport Security Command and Emergency Response Teams.
Officers will regulate the number of people entering the various areas, and in the event of overcrowding, certain exits of MRT stations around the Marina Bay may be closed and the crowd diverted to other areas.
A number of areas including St Andrew’s Road, Fullerton Road (between Esplanade Drive and Connaught Drive), Connaught Drive and Bayfront Avenue in the direction of Temasek Avenue, will also be closed to traffic overnight.