Christmas lights go beyond Orchard

People walking along the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade, which is illuminated by some 30 Christmas charity trees put up by the Community Chest and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

It is less than six weeks to Christmas, and the festive cheer is extending beyond Orchard Road's famous annual Christmas light-up this year.

From candy cane-like structures illuminating the footpaths along the Singapore River to a Christmas village at Changi Airport, other parts of Singapore will also be adorned for the Yuletide season.

The Singapore River last night launched its inaugural light-up festival called Christmas by the River.

It features market stalls selling Christmas- themed gifts and souvenirs until Dec 15 along the River Promenade, which stretches from the area outside Central shopping mall to Read Bridge.

The six-week-long festival is the first precinct- wide initiative by Singapore River One (SRO), which manages Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay.

SRO's executive director Tyrone Tabing said: "We want to add something special to make the Singapore River even more of a destination this holiday season."

In the heartland, residents in Marine Parade will get to enjoy the constituency's large-scale community-driven Christmas light-up and other activities, following the success of a similar event held last year.

For instance, street lamps will be decorated to look like golden trees when the month-long display begins on Dec 6, and a pop-up cafe will serve free coffee to residents who show up with a friend from Dec 20 to 25. There will also be youth performances, body painting activities and balloon sculpting booths.

The activities are jointly organised by Faith Community Baptist Church, which has a branch in Marine Parade, and the Marine Parade Merchants' Association.

At the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade, some 30 Christmas charity trees have been put up by the Community Chest and Urban Redevelopment Authority to light up the area. The trees, designed by students from Lasalle College of the Arts and inspired by the stories of the less-privileged, were lit up in a ceremony last night.

Some malls are also doing extra work to put up a good Christmas show for shoppers.

At VivoCity, a fireworks display will light up the night sky at 9pm next Thursday, and a 33m-high Christmas tree has already been put up at its rooftop Sky Park. Over at Paragon mall, shoppers will be treated to music performances every day, except on Sundays, until Dec 27.

However, malls in the Marina Bay area will forgo their Christmas light-up once again because of the high costs involved, the president of the Marina Bay Business Association Rose Tong told The Straits Times. It had organised a light-up annually from 2009 to 2011, but gave it a miss last year.

Instead, individual malls will put up their own decorations to attract shoppers, she added.

The association represents 10 malls including Raffles City, Esplanade Mall and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

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