10 things to look forward to at NDP 2015

Set to be the biggest NDP yet, this year’s celebrations bring back old favourites as well as new surprises.

10 things to look forward to at NDP 2015
10 things to look forward to at NDP 2015
31 Jul 2015

10 things to look forward to at NDP 2015

Photos: Bob Lee, Calvin Wong, Lim Chee Yong and Feng Zhihua

Singapore celebrates its Golden Jubilee on August 9 and the National Day Parade (NDP) returns to where it all started, the Padang, for the festivities. Set to be the biggest NDP yet, a second location, The Float @ Marina Bay, has also been set aside for the NDP with elements of the parade to take to the streets between the two sites.

Hosted by Denise Tan, Nurul Aini, Joakim Gomez and Ebi Shankara, this year’s parade celebrates Singapore’s progress over the past 50 years, and recognises the contributions of our pioneers. Apart from annual crowd-pleasers such as the presidential 21-gun salute and Military Tattoo, here are 10 elements, new and old, to look forward to come August 9.

Catch the National Day Parade live on Channel 5 and online at Toggle.sg/ndp2015 on August 9 from 5.25pm. Catch-up videos of NDP 2015 and other NDP-related programmes will also be available on Toggle.

Vintage Parade
Vintage Parade
31 Jul 2015

Vintage Parade

Remember the phrase “last time policemen used to wear shorts”? Well, you can see those khaki shorts for yourself when participants don uniforms of yore for the Vintage Parade.

Some 450 participants including pioneers who took part in past parades (the oldest participant is 84-years old!) will be marching in nine contingents representing organisations that contributed to the early growth of the nation. Among the retro uniforms making a comeback are the nursing uniforms in the 1970s (white cap included) and those of the firemen with their now-defunct helmets. The segment will also feature props from past street parades such as the iconic colourful streamer float from the People’s Association seen in the 1970s.

Mobile Column
Mobile Column
31 Jul 2015

Mobile Column

Also making a comeback after five years is the Mobile Column, and what better way to do so than to feature its largest and most diverse line-up yet - go big or go home, right? Featuring 177 assets from both the Singapore Armed Forces and the Home Team, including vehicles never been seen before in previous parades, the Mobile Column, which showcases the nation’s military might and commitment to defence, will take more than 14 minutes to drive past the Padang.

Members of the public can also get close to the Mobile Column. A section of the Mobile Column will also make its way around the Marina Bay area, passing iconic landmarks like the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, before joining Singaporeans on the Esplanade Bridge for the Pledge Moment at 8.15 pm (2015 hours).

Tribute to Lee Kuan Yew
Tribute to Lee Kuan Yew
31 Jul 2015

Tribute to Lee Kuan Yew

This year’s NDP will feature a tribute segment dedicated to the life and accomplishments of Singapore’s late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. As a mark of remembrance, Mr Lee’s seat at the NDP will be left empty unoccupied, with a bouquet of flowers placed on it.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s Black Knights will also perform a special flypast in which the fighter jets will be lined up as five stars on our national flag “watching over this nation he founded”. They would represent democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

Aerial display
Aerial display
31 Jul 2015

Aerial display

Get ready to witness the greatest airshow in town. 50 aircraft comprising fighter jets, helicopters and transport aircraft, will take to the skies to commemorate Singapore’s 50th birthday - the largest number in the NDP at the Padang.

As part of the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s salute to the nation, 20 F-16s will form a number “50” - an unpresented formation - while the Black Knights’ will execute the aerial bomb burst. After the Presidential Salute, the aerial flypast continues with an “Arrowhead” combined helicopter formation and the Black Knights return with a “Criss Cross” manoeuvre followed by a vertical climb. It’s going to be a thrilling show, so eyes to the skies, everyone!
 

SIA plane in flypast
SIA plane in flypast
31 Jul 2015

SIA plane in flypast

For the first time, a Singapore Airlines (SIA) plane will be participating in the NDP. An SIA Airbus A380 with a special livery featuring the Republic’s flag will make its flypast over the Marina Bay area at the closing of the Vintage Parade. And not just in the aircraft but also its cabin crew who will be making an appearance. In a throwback to the SIA advertisements in the 1970s, 20 Singapore Girls on trishaws will be featured in the Vintage Parade.

Pledge Moment
Pledge Moment
31 Jul 2015

Pledge Moment

Perhaps the most moving scene of every parade is when Singaporeans rise, with the right fist clenched at the heart, to recite the national pledge and sing the national anthem, ‘Majulah Singapura’. This year, a group of Singaporeans who are born on August 9 will lead everyone in the island-wide Pledge Moment at 20:15 hours (8.15pm) to mark the nation’s Golden Jubilee, and this will be followed by the national anthem. Look out for the mosaic of the national flag will be formed by 1,200 performers as well as the traditional flypast of the State flag!

Celebrated singers perform NDP song favourites
Celebrated singers perform NDP song favourites
31 Jul 2015

Celebrated singers perform NDP song favourites

Never before has a parade featured so many home-grown singers and celebrities. In a walk down memory lane, the original singers of well-liked theme songs from past NDPs such as Stefanie Sun, Clement Chow, and Kit Chan will take the stage to perform these iconic songs. This year’s theme song, “Our Singapore”, will be performed twice, first during the tribute segment to Mr Lee and then by JJ Lin.

Giant dancing icons
Giant dancing icons
31 Jul 2015

Giant dancing icons

The performers and emcees won’t be the only ones dancing on stage this National Day. Large iconic props showcasing our unique quirks and what makes us Singaporean will take centrestage alongside performers from the People’s Association. Sing along as the lighted icons like the Courtesy Lion, HDB flats, “blur sotong” and more boogie to theme songs from local sitcoms and even the SARS rap.

Fireworks
Fireworks
31 Jul 2015

Fireworks

A perennial must-see at every NDP, this year’s fireworks display promises to be the largest and most extravagant ever.

Not only will there be more than double the amount of fireworks compared to last year’s show, the display will also feature new segments such as the SG50 golden fireworks, which, you guessed it, will light to form the word “SG50” in the sky.

Spectators can also look out for the Rainbow Arc, a multi-coloured fan-shaped pyrotechnics display set off along a 300 metre platform, as well as fireworks shooting of seven high-rise buildings around the Bay area including Swissotel Hotel, Suntec Tower 1 and Republic Plaza, so whether you are at the Padang, floating platform or the Marina Bay area, you will have a 360-degree view of the spectacle.
 

Red Lions
Red Lions
31 Jul 2015

Red Lions

No female Red Lion this year but spectators can expect a thrilling aerial display by the Singapore Armed Forces Parachute Team nonetheless. Despite featuring a smaller team this year, the six parachutists, each with at least 500 jumps under their belt, promise to step up their show for the Golden Jubilee. 

To the delight of the audience, they free fall from the helicopter at 10,000 feet, perform formations like the bomb burst before making their grand entrance individually into the Padang. Be sure to cheer and wave at them as they descend!

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