ORCHARD Road was transformed into a giant dance floor last night as the annual Chingay parade returned to the shopping boulevard for the first time since 2007.
As familiar tunes such as Chan Mali Chan and Di Tanjong Katong blasted from the speakers, both locals and tourists flooded onto a closed section of the road at 8pm to revel in a street carnival.
It was a rare chance for them to get up close to about 2,000 local and international Chingay performers. Some took selfies with cosplayers, while others boogied alongside dancers from Russia and Rwanda.
Some visitors even took photographs of themselves standing on one of the 13 glittery floats that lined the stretch between Ion Orchard and Ngee Ann City.
"It's my first time at Chingay," said teacher Raihana Abdul Razak, 36. "It's great that this carnival gives me a chance to see the performers."
Ms Nina Aulia, 52, a tourist from Jakarta in Indonesia, was delighted when she spotted a cultural group from her home country performing at the event. "I'm so proud that we can participate in this carnival," she said.
At 9.30pm, fireworks lit up the skies above the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.
Earlier at the plaza, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and his wife launched a "We Love SG" mural to mark Singapore's 50th birthday. It was made up of 100,000 flowers created from recycled plastic bags.
Chingay, an annual street procession to mark Chinese New Year, moved from Orchard Road to City Hall in 2008 and then to Marina Bay in 2010.
Those who missed this year's parade at Marina Bay or the street carnival can catch the performers and floats at five heartland parades this month.
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