Sunday, 1 March 2015

Chingay Parade 2015

Largest ever Chingay Parade 2015 kicks off

The annual Chingay Parade kicked off at the F1 Pit Building on Friday evening (Feb 27), boasting 11,000 multicultural performers.

Themed “We Love SG”, the parade celebrates Singapore’s 50th year of independence and has been branded the grandest in Chingay history.

The extravaganza got off to a colourful start with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean's arriving on a float with a giant birthday cake. "In this SG50 year, let us thank our pioneers and all they have done for us - especially Mr Lee Kwan Yew," DPM Teo said.

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Chingay for all amid sea of lights and colours

Nine hundred dancers showed off skirts made of plastic "We Love SG" flowers at the opening of this year's Chingay on Friday night, transforming Marina Bay into a sea of lights and colours.

The 800,000 flowers were made by 500,000 residents and households using recycled plastic bags, an effort started nearly a year ago by Chingay's main organiser, the People's Association.

Dating back to 1973, the year's street parade featured participants from various ethnic backgrounds and went from the F1 pit building to the Singapore Flyer.

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Chingay 2015: Man behind giant floats

Even with almost a decade of experience under his belt, Mr Andrew Foo still finds building floats challenging.

One of the biggest challenges for the Chingay festivities this year is the height of the floats. The 20 floats are between 4m and 18m tall.

One was damaged when they built it higher than planned, resulting in it colliding with a bridge a few days before the first full-dress rehearsal.

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Chingay through the years: From streetside procession to massive extravaganza
The Chingay SG50 National Education (NE) Show for 11,000 students from 60 primary and secondary schools held at the F1 Pit Building, on Feb 14, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

This year's upcoming Chingay parade, an annual street procession to mark Chinese New Year, looks set to be the best one yet.

Not only will it celebrate Singapore's golden jubilee, but it will also have the highest number of international performers in the history of the parade and the biggest number of volunteers.

The first ever Chingay parade in Singapore took place in 1973 from Jalan Besar to Outram Park. The parade, with its signature floats and colourful performers, became muti-cultural in 1977 when Malay and Indian groups joined the procession.

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Chingay gets an extra night of revelry with SG50 Night Fiesta along Orchard Road

To celebrate Singapore's Golden Jubilee, this year's Chingay celebrations will be stretched over three days: The main parade on Feb 27 and 28, and the first ever Chingay SG50 Night Fiesta 2015 on Mar 1.

The extra night of performances will be a street party where festival-goers will be able to get up close and personal with Chingay floats and performances, the People's Association announced. It will take place at Orchard Road, where the Chingay parades were held from 1985 to 2007.

More than 100,000 people are expected to turn up for the street party on Mar 1, which will be held from 7 to 10pm. Roads from ION Orchard to Ngee Ann City will be closed from 5.30pm to 2am.

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