Anyone can join the National Day Parade (NDP) 2023 celebrations in Singapore for free, even if you didn’t ballot successfully for tickets to the parade. From a list of the best vantage spots to capture the Instagrammable and highly extravagant fireworks to the fringe heartland activities, here’s how you too can celebrate Singapore’s 58th year of independence on 9 August this year.
The annual NDP celebration is worth looking forward to, as it’s the only time of the year one can witness spectacular aerial displays by the Red Lions, impressive military formations, and belt their hearts out to nostalgic songs about Singapore at once. Before diving right into the festivities, here’s our guide on what to know for this year’s NDP activities.
What is the theme of Singapore’s NDP 2023?
This year’s theme, “Onward As One”, calls upon Singaporeans to look forward confidently and move onward together in building our shared future as one united people. The logo, consisting of a lion’s head with an embedded number ’58’ and accompanying five stars portrays Singapore’s determination to come together to build a shared future.
Of course, there’s also the highly anticipated theme song for NDP 2023. Titled ‘Shine Your Light’, it is composed by Don Richmond and lyrics contributed by Richmond, Shigga Shay, and Sara Wee. On the vocals are local bands 53A and The Island Voices together with singers lewloh, Olivia Ong, ShiGGa Shay, Iman Fandi, and Lineath.
The hook has got to be the assertive and confident chorus, “Go! Shine your light upon the world”, Make it bright, Everybody Sing!”
Where will the main National Day Singapore 2023 parade be at?
The main NDP 2023 will be held at the Padang this year. This venue, located in front of National Gallery Singapore, last hosted the parade in 2019. Its usual performance location, The Float@Marina Bay (aka Marina Bay Floating Platform), is currently closed for redevelopment.
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How to get to The Padang for National Day Parade 2023?
Attendees with valid tickets can best get to the location via MRT. Alight at either Raffles Place, City Hall, or Esplanade stations and walk approximately 10 minutes to The Padang.
To ensure smooth entry and exit, follow the instructions of ushers deployed at all stairwells, gates and routes. Spectators are strongly encouraged to leave the area by public transport like the MRT as taxis and private hired vehicles will be diverted due to road closures within the vicinity.
Where is the best spot to see the NDP 2023 fireworks?
The immediate vicinity within The Padang will be closed to public access for parade proceedings. But certain landmarks and open-air spaces are ideal spots to marvel at the spectacular NDP fireworks. Popular locations include The Esplanade Bridge near the Merlion, Helix Bridge near Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Fullerton Hotel, and the lawn outside Asian Civilisation Museum and Victoria Concert Hall.
Those who wish to give a toast to Singapore’s 58th year of independence can head to restaurants and bars with front-row seats like 1-Arden Rooftop Terrace, Brewerkz One Fullerton, Caffe Fernet, Ce La Vi, Kinki, SKAI, and Southbridge.
NDP fireworks can also be seen at selected heartland neighbourhoods on 9 August too. They will be set off concurrently with the fireworks medley at the Padang at these five sites:
- ActiveSG Bedok Sport Centre
- ActiveSG Jurong West Sport Centre
- ActiveSG Toa Payoh Sport Centre
- ActiveSG Woodlands Sport Centre
- Our Tampines Hub
Entry into the stadiums starts from 6pm onwards, on a first-come, first-served basis.
GetActive! SG Heartland Festivals
Prior to the big day, the public can experience this year’s National Day celebrations with festivities filled with community activities at five heartland locations over the weekend of 5 and 6 August 2023. On Wednesday, 9 August for National Day, there will also be aerial flypasts through the heartlands.
GetActive! Singapore Heartland Festivals will be held at the following sites and are ticketed:
- ActiveSG Bedok Sport Centre (5 & 6 Aug 2023, 4pm to 9pm)
- ActiveSG Jurong West Sport Centre (5 & 6 Aug 2023, 4pm to 9pm)
- ActiveSG Toa Payoh Sport Centre (5 & 6 Aug 2023, 4pm to 9pm)
- ActiveSG Woodlands Sport Centre (5 & 6 Aug 2023, 4pm to 9pm)
- Our Tampines Hub (6 Aug 2023, 4pm to 9pm)
Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents are eligible to apply for e-tickets to GetActive! Singapore Heartland Festivals. Limited physical tickets are also available for collection at various SAFRA clubs.
Key highlights of programmes and activities for all age groups and families at the five heartland sites include:
- Sports try-outs: Athletics, basketball, floorball, football, hockey, table tennis, tennis
- Experiential activities: Archery, skateboarding, roller skating, Nerf, Zorb ball
- Kampung Games: Life-sized fun for the young and young at heart
- Family fun activities: Bouncy castles, community mural painting, snack booths
- Live stage performances
Live Telecast of NDP 2023:
Those who wish to stay at home to avoid the scorching heat can also opt to view the NDP live telecast at home. Besides watching on free-to-broadcast TV channels like Channel 5 and Channel 8, the NDP 2023 is also live-streamed on NDPeeps’ Facebook and YouTube social channels.
(Hero and featured image credit: Albert photo/Getty Images)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore