NDP 2021 paves the way for new normal in S'poreThis year's National Day Parade (NDP) will be held at The Float @ Marina Bay, with various activities held across Singapore.
//Story by Koh Eng Beng
//Photos by PIONEER photographers and Courtesy of NDPeeps
This year's National Day Parade (NDP) will return to The Float @ Marina Bay as a scaled-down event, to commemorate the 56th year of Singapore's independence. Singaporeans can look forward to traditional parade elements such as the Colours Party and other familiar contingents such as those from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Home Team. Meanwhile, civilian entities and other uniformed groups will join the parade via virtual means in what would be the first live-virtual integration for NDP.
Those watching NDP from home can look forward to a show with television-exclusive special effects and an innovative blend of live performances and animated short films created by home-grown animation artists.
This year's NDP theme, Together, Our Singapore Spirit, calls on Singaporeans to tap on their "can-do" attitude, unity and resilience to overcome setbacks during this challenging time.
Chairman of the NDP 2021 Executive Committee, Brigadier-General (BG) Tan Cheng Kwee, said: “With the proper precautions in place, we want to make NDP a milestone event that paves the way forward for Singapore to resume large-scale events in an endemic COVID-19 situation...and move forward with a sense of confidence – to build a better Singapore.”
There will be only 1,200 participants at The Float @ Marina Bay – a 70 per cent reduction compared with previous years. Besides being fully vaccinated, they are also required to undergo weekly rostered routine testing. The participants have also been divided into smaller functional groups, and are rehearsing at separate locations to reduce overcrowding.
Recognising everyday heroes
Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, there will be no public balloting of NDP tickets. Instead, frontline and essential workers will be invited to attend, and examples include cleaners, hawkers, teachers, and transport workers as well as community volunteers who have stepped up to help fellow Singaporeans during the pandemic.
"These are Singaporeans who are unsung heroes that have allowed Singaporeans to carry on with our way of lives," said BG Tan, adding that nominations and invitations will take place in mid-July.
All invitees are to be fully vaccinated, and will undergo pre-event testing.
BG Tan added the total number of spectators that will be allowed at the NDP at The Float @ Marina Bay will be made known at a later date, as the NDP organising committee is awaiting the national guidelines on the next phase of reopening.
Noting that for the past one year, large-scale events have been restricted to from a few hundreds to a maximum of 1,000 in-person attendees, BG Tan said: "We remain hopeful that for NDP and (other) large-scale events in the future, we can move past this limit...because NDP is at the right time to be the first large-scale event, moving into the new normal in an endemic COVID-19 situation."
Celebrations in the heartlands
During the weekend leading to National Day, Singaporeans can join in several community activities across the island.
Singaporeans are reminded to observe prevailing safe distancing measures at all times.
A song to unite all
This year's NDP theme song The Road Ahead was written and composed by Linying and Evan Low. Through the song, Linying wanted to encourage Singaporeans to count on one another during these challenging times where the road ahead remains uncertain.
The song's music video is the first NDP music video to blend live-action and animation. Watch it here:
Join the campaign
Singaporeans are encouraged to join the NDP 2021 campaign by uploading videos and photographs, well-wishes, reflections or stories on their personal social media accounts using the hashtag #TogetherOurSGSpirit, #OurSGSpirit, #NDP2021 and #NDPeeps, as well as tagging the official NDP Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NDPeeps) and Instagram (@NDPeeps https://www.instagram.com/ndpeeps/).