Singapore prepares for its biggest and brightest Christmas in the Tropics

Travel News Asia 10 November 2005

Singapore is set to celebrate its biggest and brightest Christmas in the Tropics with an special line-up of fun-filled activities and exciting entertainment from 12 November 2005 to 2 January 2006.

Set against the backdrop of Singapores longest and brightest ever coordinated Christmas Light-up stretching continuously from Tanglin Road, Scotts Road, Orchard Road to Marina Bay area, the myriad of Christmas celebrations promises both residents and visitors, an exciting and memorable time this festive season. The wide range of activities include countdown parties, mega concerts, internationally acclaimed performances, art exhibitions, special programmes at Singapores attractions, attractive shopping promotions and tantalising culinary treats that aim to bring festive cheer to one and all.

STBs Assistant Chief Executive (Leisure), Dr Chan Tat Hon, said, Christmas in the Tropics has become well established as the key, year-end event that not only residents look forward to each year, but is a major draw for overseas visitors as well. Based on a survey conducted during last years Christmas celebrations, 38% of visitors to Singapore planned their trip to coincide with the celebrations and 24% of them were actually repeat visitors to our Christmas in the Tropics. During last years Christmas in the Tropics, in the months of November and December, close to 1.6 million visitors came to Singapore. This is a strong double digit growth of 17% as compared to the 1.3 million visitors during Christmas in the Tropics in 2003.

This years Christmas in the Tropics offers the strongest events line-up ever. Since its inception in 2002, Christmas in the Tropics has grown from 14 events to the 56 events that will be held this year at venues island-wide. With such a spectacular array of celebratory events, Singaporeans and visitors will be spoilt for choice this yuletide season. We believe that Christmas in the Tropics, arguably one of the worlds most elaborate festive celebrations, will enable visitors to take home fond memories of Uniquely Singapore experiences, added Dr Chan.

Hitachi Asia continues to be the main sponsor for Christmas Light-up 2005 along Orchard Road for the 15th consecutive year. For the second year running, VISA International is a sponsor and the official card of Christmas in the Tropics. Other partners include National Council of Social Service and National Council of Churches of Singapore.

"The Christmas Light-up is very significant for Hitachi because we believe in lighting up the community and the lives of those in need. We are able to make this possible through our sponsorship of the Light-up and contributions to the Community Chest. We are very pleased to continue our sponsorship commitment of this important year-end occasion for the 15th year," said Mr Shunsuke Ohtsu, Managing Director, Hitachi Asia.

Highlights of Christmas in the Tropics

Christmas Light-up (10 Nov 05 2 Jan 06)

This year, visitors will be treated to two very different experiences. Themed Wonderland: A Musical Kaleidoscope, the Orchard Road zone, which starts at Tanglin Road, Scotts Road, Orchard Road through to Le Meridien Shopping Centre, will be adorned with musical and Christmas icons. Bathed in warm red and orange lights, the famed Orchard Road will be transformed into a tropical paradise in a riot of colours and music greeting shoppers at every turn.

The mood switches in the Marina Bay zone, which continues from Le Meridien Shopping Centre through Bras Basah Road to Raffles Boulevard. Marina Bay area will be a magical shimmering sea of blue and white, with flickering and sparkling stars taking centre-stage under the theme of Winterland: Dreaming of A White Christmas.

One of the highlights of this years Christmas Light-up is the six three-dimensional animated songbirds which will be released from Christmas gift boxes situated at the Scotts Junction. For the first time, there will be sound shells installed at several locations along Orchard Road, where passers-by will be serenaded with Christmas carols as they stroll and feast on the visual spectacle. Another highlight includes the four drummer boys at the Heeren Junction which will be drumming and rotating to the festive tunes of popular Christmas carols.

The Christmas Light-Up will be switched on every night from 7pm to midnight. It will be extended to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays; and 6am on the eves of Christmas and New Year.

Celebrate Christmas in Singapore (16 25 Dec 05)
Parade of Floats (16 and 25 Dec 05)

One of the highlights of this years Christmas celebrations is the vibrant parade of colourfully decorated lighted floats. Complementing the spectacular Christmas Light-up along Orchard Road, this display of seven colourful lighted floats will launch the start of Celebrate Christmas in Singapore with colour and festive cheer. For the first time, the Christmas Street Parade will be brought to the heartlands Chinatown on 16 and 17 Dec, Queenstown on 18 Dec, Bukit Batok on 23 Dec and Yishun on 24 Dec. Visitors and Singaporeans can catch the floats along Orchard Road on 16 Dec and 25 Dec.

Outdoor stage performances (16 25 Dec 05)

In addition, residents and visitors will also be treated to exciting celebratory performances of song, music, dance and drama every night from 16 to 25 Dec, along Orchard Road at three different locations Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, Paragon and Tong Building.

Christmas Celebration Village at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza (16 25 Dec 05)

From 16 to 25 December, visitors and locals will be transported back in time as the Christmas story is re-enacted at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza. There will be costumed performers and life-sized displays of the walled city of Bethlehem, its marketplace and the nativity scene of the birth of Jesus, right in the heart of Orchard Road.

Orchard Road will also witness its biggest choir celebration with the Singing Christmas Tree, from 16 to 25 Dec at the Civic Plaza. Visitors and residents can look forward to a delightful experience with inspiring music by singers and musicians who will be performing on the dazzling and colourful 50-foot Christmas tree.

To add to the festive ambience, 10 foreign minority groups including the Karen tribe from Thailand, Ifugao and Igorot tribes from the Philippines, the Aboriginals from Australia, the Amis tribe from Taiwan, Lun Bawang tribe from Sarawak and Miao tribe from Yunnan-Kunming, will be showcasing their unique ways of celebrating Christmas through their songs and dances. Visitors will also get to see their varied native crafts, wares and costumes.

Grand Christmas Celebration Concert (25 Dec 05)

Come Christmas Day, the heart of Orchard Road (from Scotts Junction to Paragon) will come alive with the staging of Singapores largest ever outdoor concert along Orchard Road. Known as the Grand Christmas Celebration Concert, the concert will boast strong participation from local and international artistes, celebrities and performing groups.

Special treats for visitors

Free Christmas Light-up Tour on the HiPPO Bus (12 Nov 05 - 2 Jan 06)

STB will once again be offering tourists free HiPPO rides to enjoy the captivating Christmas Light-up up close. This is part of STBs efforts to add to the festive cheer by offering visitors to Singapore with a unique and memorable experience during this Yuletide season. From 12 Nov 05 to 2 Jan 06 (except eves of Christmas and New Year), visitors to Singapore can hop on to the open-top HiPPO bus for a 30-minute spin along Orchard Road free of charge. Six tours at half hourly intervals will be available between 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

Free CityBuzz rides (12 Nov 05 - 2 Jan 06)

In addition, from 12 Nov 05 to 2 Jan 06, visitors to Singapore can get to enjoy free CityBuzz service (C1 Orchard, C2 Chinatown, C3 Little India). Visitors can get to experience the unique sights of Singapores city centre in cool comfort on board the air-conditioned double deck buses.

Late Night Shopping Orchard Road & Marina Bay

Visitors and residents alike can shop till they drop with Singapores first ever year-end late night shopping. Two of Singapores premier shopping belts, Orchard Road and Marina Bay will be extending their shopping hours till late at night. In addition, shoppers will get to enjoy special discounts and promotions at participating malls including Tangs, Ngee Ann City, Paragon, Heeren, Centrepoint, Plaza Singapura, Raffles City Shopping Centre, Suntec City and Millenia Walk.

To offer visitors more reasons to visit and shop in Singapore, many shopping malls will also be offering special promotions.

Other highlights

Apart from shopping, visitors and Singaporeans can also look forward to exciting entertainment and performances such as the musical comedy, A Twist of Fate and the premiere of The Snow Queen by the Singapore Repertory Theatre, The Nutcracker ballet by the Singapore Dance Theatre, as well as the popular Rent musical, which is on its 10th anniversary World Tour. Visitors and residents can also experience The Art of Star Wars, a 2,000 square metres exhibition of the epic Star Wars movie series, or party up a storm at the annual dusk-to-dawn ZoukOut dance music festival.

With a breathtaking harbour view as the backdrop, visitors and locals can expect a unique dining experience while admiring a spectacular light show extravaganza at the sparkling hilltop gem on Mount Faber The Jewel Box.

The Christmas in the Tropics celebrations culminate on New Years Eve at the hippest hangouts in town, such as Clarke Quay, CHIJMES and IndoChine where revellers will be ringing in the New Year and toasting to a memorable festive experience.

See other recent news regarding: Christmas, Singapore

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