Bigger booms, bigger 'wow' factor

Bigger booms, bigger 'wow' factor
Manimaran loading a shell into a mortar tube. Preparation can take as much as three days.

The fireworks display at this year's National Day Parade (NDP) is going to be the largest ever.

The fireworks committee is sparing no expense in making this the grandest, most eye-popping display yet: double the amount of fireworks compared to last year's show and 165 visually different types.

Fireworks committee chairman, Military Expert 6 (ME6) Manimaran Ganesan, said the committee aimed to put on a spectacular display come Aug 9 for the Golden Jubilee. "In order to do so, we have built the largest ever fireworks barge," he said.

"The main reason for this is to provide a broader front so that more people around the area are able to view the display."

The main barge, located at the Marina Basin, measures 300m by 150m and will primarily be used for high-level shots.

These high-level shots are made using mortar tubes and can reach heights of up to 200m.

The main barge will be responsible for three of the parade's main firework highlights: the rainbow arc , the Golden Jubilee display and the salute to Singapore.

The rainbow arc will feature a multi-coloured display of fireworks launched across the length of the barrage while the salute will be the final display, with each firework lasting up to 20 seconds.

As part of the display, a special Golden Jubilee shell was made this year.

It will release large fireworks and will display gold-coloured fireworks during the parade.

Another interesting segment to look out for is the special SG50 set piece, where fireworks will be lit to form the shape of the word "SG50".

Other firing sites include a secondary barge in the Marina Channel and seven rooftops of buildings within the area. The sites combine to give a 360-degree firework display centred around the main stage at the Padang, a first for any NDP.

"Such a massive display required the co-operation of the management of the buildings involved," said ME6 Manimaran. "Thankfully, they were willing to do so and all of them volunteered to be a part of it."

The preparation for each firework display can take as long as three days and each set-up requires a minimum of three layers of covering to protect it from water.

"It took a total of 28 regulars, 24 full-time national servicemen and 40 firework contractors to put the display together," ME6 Manimaran added.

"It will not only be a spectacular display but an awesome one."

This article was first published on July 27, 2015.
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