Crowds pack nearby areas to enjoy show

Young NTUC members unfurling a huge national flag at The Promontory @ Marina Bay, where they had gathered to catch the action at the NDP nearby. Crowds packed the areas around the Marina Bay area yesterday to revel in the NDP festivities despite not having tickets.

SINGAPORE - The afternoon drizzle and lack of tickets did not dampen spirits on Friday.

Even those without parade tickets showed up in full force to encircle Marina Bay and participate in the revelry.

Property agent Tan Hwee Heng, with his family and friends in tow, got to the Esplanade with snacks, picnic mats and stools to "chope seats". The 38-year-old said: "It's windy here and you get a good view."

But there were some who arrived as early as 7am to snag the best spots.

"We thought there wasn't going to be space," said Ms Ajantha Sadamali, 48, a Sri Lankan maid who was among the first to camp out in front of the Merlion to catch a glimpse of the parade.

She has camped out for every parade since starting work here seven years ago.

By 5pm, there was hardly any standing room left as more people packed the bayside, clamouring for a better view.

"The atmosphere is electric," exclaimed British exchange student Andrew Cheek, 20. "It would be less of an occasion without all the buzz."

Others like aircraft technician Harbinder Singh settled for tickets to public screenings at The Promontory and Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza. The father-of-three said: "Of course we'd prefer to see it live but we didn't want to miss out. I brought my kids to enjoy the fireworks."


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