Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Singaporeans will largely celebrate this year’s Independence Day at home.
Restrictions to large gatherings amid the health crisis means that only 300 people will participate in this year’s National Day programs, according to Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, and with just 150 spectators instead of the usual thousands.
Here’s a list of the nine hours of virtual events to look out for on national television – and possibly from your windows – on Aug. 9 for Singapore’s 55th birthday.
Starting at 10 am, National Day events will kick off with a message delivered by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. This follows a parade at the Padang and a presidential gun salute attended by President Halimah Yaacob.
Those at home can then look forward to a state flag flypast by chinooks and AH-64 attack helicopters, set to take place concurrently with flag-raising ceremonies across the city-state. Get ready to sing the national anthem for this one.
For the first time ever, this year’s National Day celebrations will also see Singapore boasting its maritime assets with a sail past by vessels from the navy, police coast guards, Singapore Civil Defence Force emergency responders, and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
Singapore’s fighter jets are also expected to fly over housing estates and a mobile column by the Singapore Armed Forces and the country’s “Home Team” are set to stroll through local neighborhoods via five different routes.
Parachuters free-falling from the sky is a regular fixture in National Day celebrations and will continue to wow Singaporeans this year. The Singapore Armed Forces’ Red Lions team is expected to make an appearance in various neighborhoods.
In the afternoon, Singaporeans can engage in family-friendly home-based live-streamed activities to keep the party going. They include workouts, art and craft, and cooking. Singaporeans can also pledge for any cause they want by writing them down in the pledge cards handed out in the NDP funpacks.
Wrapping up the day of celebrations is a series of films and live stage performances set to be live-streamed from The Star Theatre. They will culminate in a fireworks show set to take place across 10 different locations in Singapore.
The lineup of performances has yet to be unveiled, but it should definitely include singer Nathan Hartono, who is leading this year’s celebration theme song Everything I Am.