SINGAPORE: National Day celebrations will extend to Aug 10 this year, as the mobile column makes its way from the F1 pit to five neighbourhoods – Jurong East, Woodlands, Bishan, Punggol and Geylang Serai.
Singaporeans can expect to get up close to the array of tanks, jeeps and support vehicles from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and HomeTeam, said Colonel Lim Lit Lam, chairman of the Heartlands Committee at a media briefing on Friday (Jul 19).
Explaining the committee’s decision to extend the celebrations into the heartlands, Colonel Lim said: “This is a special year not just for the Bicentennial, but it is also the 50th anniversary of the mobile column since it first rolled down the Padang in NDP 1969.”
The mobile column is expected to depart at 2.30pm, and it will have five sections, which are estimated to reach their destinations at about 6.45pm.
Residents who want to catch the mobile column will be able to track its location on the National Day Parade’s (NDP) official website, while residents unable to attend the celebrations will be able to watch a livestream of the mobile column as it wends its way along the streets of Singapore, also on the website.
This will be the first time in nine years NDP celebrations will reach the heartlands, and its trip will culminate in fireworks at the five neighbourhoods, said Colonel Lim.
Previously, NDP celebrations were held in the heartlands in 2005 and 2010.
Colonel Yeo Hwee Bin, chairman of the NDP celebrations and mobile column committee said: “The mobile column is a traditional crowd favourite and the key feature for this year’s National Day Parade. By bringing the mobile column to the heartlands, Singaporeans can have an up-close view of vehicles from the Singapore Armed Forces and HomeTeam.”
The roads affected by the mobile column will be closed on a rolling basis and will reopen to traffic once the column passes.
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CARNIVALS AND GROUND UP ACTIVITIES
To complement the mobile column’s journey, the People’s Association (PA) will organise carnivals at the mobile column’s five destinations.
Residents living in Bishan can expect activities such as e-sports, AR gaming and a drone showcase, while more than 10,000 residents in Punggol will be aiming to break the Singapore Book of Records by throwing red and white paper balls at the same time.
Singaporeans living in Geylang Serai and Jurong East will have art activities and photo-taking opportunities with art installations.
About 300 people will also attempt to create an umbrella formation spelling out the words NDP 2019@North West in Woodlands.
Other than the carnivals, there will be fringe activities organised by grassroots leaders and residents, which include street performances, balloon sculpting, and flea markets at various locations along the mobile column’s route.
At least 10,000 people are expected to attend the carnivals at each site, said PA group director of partnership Jeanie Tan.
There will also be 50,000 NDP funpacks given out to residents who register with their nearest community clubs.