SINGAPORE - There will be no fireworks at this year's Marina Bay New Year's Eve countdown but Singaporeans can still look forward to them at 11 locations in the heartland to usher in 2021.
Part of year-end events organised by the People's Association (PA), the fireworks will take place in HDB towns like Bedok, Tampines, Bishan and Yew Tee and the display will be live-streamed on the Facebook pages of the constituencies.
In a statement on Wednesday (Dec 23), the PA said the virtual programmes bring year-end festivities to families "in a safe way", allowing everyone to enjoy the programmes in the comfort of their homes.
"As 2020 comes to a close and we approach phase three of reopening, we need to remain vigilant, particularly during festive periods," said the association.
Two of the year-end virtual programmes, which will be hosted by various constituencies, are taking place on Sunday.
Another 12 will be hosted on New Year's Eve, and the remaining two on New Year's Day.
Highlights include Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC's Virtual Countdown 2021, on Dec 31 from 10.30pm, which features local artistes like Sezairi, MICappella, TheLionCityBoy and The Lorong Boys. It will be hosted by Mediacorp artist Pornsak.
Residents of Nanyang ward in West Coast GRC can look forward to a slew of events online, beginning from 10pm on New Year's Eve, including a scavenger hunt and performances by student groups.
Those living in Clementi can ring in 2021 with a workout on Jan 1 at the constituency's sports-themed morning programme that starts at 9am. The afternoon segment, starting at 2pm, features local singers and bands.
Besides Bedok, Tampines, Bishan and Yew Tee, the seven other HDB towns with fireworks displays are: Boon Lay, Geylang, Hougang, Jurong, Nanyang ward in West Coast GRC, Tiong Bahru and Woodlands.
PA did not provide specific vantage points to watch the fireworks as residents are encouraged to do so from home since the display will be livestreamed.
A PA spokesman said safe-management measures will be in place at the sites for the fireworks to ensure public safety.
“We are working with relevant authorities and will be deploying safe distancing ambassadors to remind residents not to gather and to ensure safety at the respective sites,” he said.
Yew Tee resident Chan Cui Si, who is in her 50s, said that, if possible, she would try and catch the display from her flat.
"Without knowing where the focal point of the display is, leaving the house might be futile," said the housewife, who added that an open area in the neighbourhood was crowded during a similar event on National Day, making the viewing experience an unpleasant one.
Those hoping to revel in New Year festivities in the city can head to Marina Bay for two lightshows, one of which has been going on since the beginning of December.
Shine A Light, which features 60 moving beams of light mounted on the floor of The Promontory, will be taking place nightly till Dec 31.
Another light projection titled Share The Moment will kick off from Dec 25 and will last till Dec 31 at The Fullerton Hotel and Merlion. The same show will kick off a day later from Dec 26 at the ArtScience Museum.
All the light shows will take place at intervals from 8pm to 10.30pm nightly, with extended displays on New Year's Eve, when the last show will start at 11.45pm.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.