300,000 expected at Marina Bay

More than 300,000 revellers are expected at this year's Marina Bay Singapore Countdown (MBSC), where for the first time, an LED display will be projected onto the Ocean Financial Centre facade in a 40- second countdown to midnight, just before fireworks burst over Marina Bay.

The figure is a 15 per cent increase over last year's edition, which saw about 260,000 partygoers usher in the new year.

The bigger turnout expected this year is partly due to the recently opened Downtown station in the area, said event organisers from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Esplanade.

This will provide another travel option for commuters, in addition to the nearby Raffles Place and Bayfront stations.

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In a media statement, URA chief executive officer Ng Lang said that the MBSC has established itself as a key venue for New Year celebrations.

"However, what makes the event successful is the support of the community, and we hope to see more people at the Bay this year," he added.

Earlier this year, event organisers also asked overseas Singaporeans, as well as the elderly and the youth from welfare organisations to pen their hopes and dreams for Singapore on "wishing spheres".

On New Year's Eve, 20,000 of these spheres will light up the bay's waters.

Partygoers at this year's event, in its ninth edition, can look forward to a slew of activities - from an outdoor bazaar to classical music performances to dance parties.

Those looking to soak in the festive atmosphere early can head to the outdoor bazaar along the Marina Bay waterfront promenade, which starts at 4pm.

Food stalls will also be open there from 6pm.

Music lovers can enjoy performances by regional acts like Filipino rock band Rivermaya and Malaysian singer-songwriter Namewee at the Promontory @ Marina Bay at 7pm.

They can also head to the Esplanade, where singers Cat Ong and Sheila De Niro will be performing, and short films by local director Kelvin Sng, in line with this year's "Beautiful Life" theme, will be screened.

Broadcaster Mediacorp is holding a concert at The Float @ Marina Bay featuring Taiwanese-American singer Wang Leehom and British-Irish pop group The Wanted. Tickets are priced at $28 and $68. The concert will be followed by a dance party that ends at 3am.

All other events are free.

The highlight of the show, for many like communications analyst Natalie Teo, will be the eight-minute fireworks display, choreographed to music by local composer and Cultural Medallion winner Iskandar Ismail, at midnight.

"I'm looking forward to catching the fireworks up close this year," said Ms Teo, 24, who missed last year's countdown due to the rain.

Prime vantage points to watch the fireworks include the Esplanade, The Lawn @ Marina Bay, Collyer Quay, the Marina Waterfront and the Gardens by The Bay.

Police, auxiliary police and security officers will be deployed for crowd and traffic control duties.

Crowd-control barricades and directional signs will be put up, and MRT trains may bypass stations to alleviate congestion.

For more information, visit www.marinabaycountdown.sg

Heads-up for countdown

Police, auxiliary police and security officers will be deployed for crowd and traffic control duties at the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2014.

Bags and personal items may be checked, and the public should cooperate and follow the instructions of officers, said the police.

They are also reminded to stay vigilant against crime, such as molestation or theft.

There will be full or partial road closures between 6pm and 2am the following day.

Train services

Train services will be extended, while some bus routes will be changed.

On the Downtown Line, the last train towards Bugis station will leave Chinatown station at 2.13am on New Year's Day. The last train towards Chinatown station will leave Bugis station at 2.14am.

On the Circle Line, the last trains towards HarbourFront and Dhoby Ghaut stations will leave their terminals at 1.38am.

On the East-West and North-South lines, the last trains towards Joo Koon, Pasir Ris and Jurong East stations will leave City Hall station at 2.15am, while the last train towards Marina Bay station will leave City Hall station at 2.01am.

Bus services

Due to road closures for the Marina Bay Countdown, eight SMRT bus services - 75, 77, 106, 167, 171, 700A, 857 and 960 - will bypass some stops in the Marina Bay area from 11pm to 1am.

Sixteen SBS Transit bus services - 10, 36, 56, 57, 70M, 97, 100, 111, 130, 131, 133, 162M, 195, 196, 502 and 518 - will be similarly diverted.


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