SINGAPORE – The National Day Parade (NDP) fireworks will be set off from three locations this year – including the Singapore River for the first time – to give more people a chance of seeing them .

The pyrotechnics will be released from a barge in front of the Asian Civilisations Museum, as well as from Marina Bay and the Padang, where this year’s event is being held.

Military Expert (ME) 6 Johnson Ling, chairman of this year’s NDP fireworks committee, said on Thursday (July 25): “This year is a special year as it is also Singapore’s bicentennial. The Singapore River is a significant site where our ancestors gathered and pioneered what we are today. It is also the theme of Act Three of the parade – Our River.”

Organisers are promising a “more panoramic” display for Singapore’s 54th birthday and the 450m fireworks barge in Marina Bay will be the longest used to date.

It features a mix of five high-level firing positions with 11 mid-level and low-level firing positions.

High-level fireworks can soar as high as 180m while mid-level and low-level ones can hit heights of 70m and 50m.

Parade-goers at the Padang will have the best spot to witness the five-minute segment, which is synchronised with upbeat remixes of beloved NDP songs.

Low-level fireworks will be set off at the Padang to enhance the celebratory mood of the parade.

Singaporeans can get an early glimpse of the display on Aug 3 – the second preview show of the parade – before the main event on Aug 9.

The display is expected to begin around 8pm.

ME6 Ling said his team – comprising around 80 Singapore Armed Forces and related personnel – has been preparing for this year’s display for the last 12 months.

It takes four days to prepare and mount the fireworks for the parade.

Four-minute firework displays – as well as a mobile column and carnival – will also be held in five heartland areas on Aug 10: Bishan, Wisma Geylang Serai, Jurong East, Punggol and Woodlands.

It will be the first time in over a decade that the NDP executive committee has hosted firework displays in the heartlands.

Singaporeans will be asked to join in the recitation of the National Pledge and singing of the national anthem as the fireworks are set off.

ME6 Ling added: “We want to bring the fireworks to more Singaporeans and they can look forward to a spectacular and panoramic show.”