NDP 2018: 5 things to look out for this National Day Parade

NDP 2018: 5 things to look out for this National Day Parade

From perennial favourites like the Red Lions and fireworks, to strings of giant balloons, here's our pick of what to look out for at National Day Parade 2018.

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Revellers take photos of the Red Lions as they descend from the sky at the 2018 National Day Parade preview. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Got hold of those coveted National Day Parade tickets? Or are you planning to catch the parade on TV or online with your friends and family? 

As Singapore's 53rd birthday rolls round, here's our pick of the five highlights to look out for - and remember - at NDP 2018.


A Navy Diving Unit member free-falls into the water from more than 1,800 metres in the sky. (Photos: Gaya Chandramohan)

First, look out for the eight-member Naval Diving Unit (NDU) as they free-fall more than 1,800 metres from a Super Puma helicopter into the water. 

The move is one used in actual operations and will give an insight to the maritime operations conducted by divers when they need to enter an area that isn't easily or quickly accessible by other means.

After that, the perennial crowd favourite, the Red Lions, will perform a wingsuit jump from a record height of 3,800 metres - more than 750m higher than their previous performances.

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A Red Lion begins his descent after a wingsuit jump from a record height of 3,800 metres. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

They will jump from a C-130 plane above Sentosa and glide towards the Marina Bay floating platform at speeds of up to 200kmh before a minute-long free fall.


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RSAF helicopters demonstrate an aerial flypast. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

Keep looking up - this year's NDP will feature an "enhanced" aerial segment, involving as many as 21 Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) aircraft. The planes will fly in formation towards the floating platform before fighter jets execute aerial aerobatics over the Marina Bay skies.


The balloon garlands featured in this year's National Day Parade show segment. (Video: Gaya Chandramohan)

Look out for these 18m-high balloon garlands in the second act of the show segment.

The 12 massive garlands will transfix you as they sway and twinkle against the evening sky - but perhaps less obvious is the sheer strength and stamina it takes to handle the balloons. 

It's been likened to pulling with a 20kg weight while sprinting, and performers have to resist the upward pull of the balloons even when they're standing still. 

Our reporter Lianne Chia gave it a go:


Part of the 18-vessel water procession that will sail around Marina Bay during NDP.

Also in the second act of the show is an 18-vessel water procession that will sail around Marina Bay. In a nod to Singapore's heritage, some of the floats have been modelled after iconic playgrounds of yesteryear. Which ones do you recognise?


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Fireworks light up the sky at the preview of the 2018 National Day Parade. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

And what is a National Day Parade without the grand finale, lighting up the sky across the Marina Bay? The fireworks start at about 8pm and will be visible from all around the bay.

Here are some of our picks for the best vantage point:

With Aug 9 just around the corner, you might be thinking of ways to catch the fireworks display near the Marina Bay Floating Platform. Elizabeth Neo looks at the prime spots to get a good view for free or for a fee.

Didn't get tickets - or couldn't make it back home to Singapore this year? Don't worry, you can catch the parade 'live' on our website, Twitter or Facebook on Aug 9 from 5.30pm Singapore time.

NDP 2018 live stream promo

Source: CNA/ek(dt)