Mix of old and new wows NDP crowd
Highlights of the 52nd National Day Parade
While old favourites continued to excite the 25,000-strong crowd, the use of cutting-edge technology also thrilled them at the 52nd National Day Parade (NDP), held at The Float@Marina Bay yesterday.
Intricate drone formations and the use of laser mapping technology drew huge cheers, while the return of the Singapore Armed Forces' Red Lions and fireworks came together to deliver a "show to never forget," as one spectator described it.
Mr Jason Ng, 52, loved the parade but said the fireworks were his favourite.
"It is something you expect at every parade, but it never gets old. When you hear the National Day songs playing and see the fireworks, you really feel that this is home, truly, and there is nowhere else," the course trainer told The New Paper.
For some, like 16-year-old Mudzakkir Muhammed, the best segment of the 3½-hour show was one of its oldest features - the march in of the different uniformed groups.
The secondary school student, who was at the parade with friends, said: "When you see the soldiers and officers all marching in time and coming in together, with all their uniforms, it really is special - it is like nothing else."
In a five-minute display, 300 drones took to the skies and moved into various formations against the Marina Bay skyline.
Miss Emelyn Ho, 40, a teacher, said it seemed as if the drones were dancing.
"It took my breath away because it looked so beautiful. Technology was used really well this year. It made the parade feel special," she added.
While the fireworks, military displays - including the salute to national servicemen on the 50th year of National Service - and use of technology were all big hits, other participants, such as the Purple Symphony, also drew praise.
The group, an ensemble of musicians, some of them with special needs, performed to highlight the message of inclusivity, in line with this year's theme of #OneNationTogether.
Miss Siew Hong, 58, who works in the medical industry, was moved watching them.
She said: "It was my favourite part, to see everyone come together like that, no matter who they are. That is what makes Singapore so special."