SINGAPORE: Fireworks will be set off at the Singapore River for the first time in Singapore's National Day Parade history this August, in a move to celebrate the river's significance as the country marks its bicentennial.
“2019 is a special year and it marks our Singapore bicentennial," said Military Expert (ME) 6 Johnson Ling, chairman of this year’s fireworks committee.
"That’s why we selected the Singapore River as a significant site, where our forefathers and ancestors gathered and pioneered what we are today,” he added.
The 3.2km-long waterway is where many of Singapore's ancestors began their lives and was the centre of trade, commerce and finance.
The fireworks display is expected to begin at about 8pm and last for five minutes.
This year’s NDP fireworks display will also involve the deployment of the longest barge in NDP history.
“As part of the NDP planning stages, we have understood the limitations of the Padang for the fireworks display,” said ME6 Ling said.
At 450m-long, ME6 Ling said, the barge allows for a wider fireworks display that “maximises the bay area” and can be seen by people in the Padang and Marina Bay area.
Separately, heartland residents in Bishan, Geylang Serai, Jurong East, Punggol and Woodlands can also look forward to their own four-minute display of National Day fireworks - on Aug 10.
The goal is to reach out to more Singaporeans by bringing NDP celebrations to the heartlands, said ME6 Ling.
“It has been more than a decade since the NDP committee last brought the fireworks display to the heartlands. And we hope that Singaporeans will like what we have prepared for them.”
According to the NDP Committee, the last time there were fireworks display in the heartlands was in 2005.
To kick off celebratory activities in the heartlands, a mobile column will depart the F1 pit at 2.30pm on Aug 10 and make its way to the five estates.
The move will also represent the 50th anniversary of the mobile column’s first journey down the Padang.
The five sections of the mobile column are estimated to reach their destinations at about 6.45pm.
Residents who want to catch the mobile column can track its location on the official NDP website. There will also be a livestream of the mobile column as it makes its way along the streets of Singapore on the website.