It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Singapore's iconic shopping belt will burst into colour this holiday season, with multi-hued Christmas trees and glittering blue snowflakes lining Orchard Road at the annual light-up.

The many colours are a nod to Singapore's diversity as it celebrates 50 years of nationhood next year, said Mrs May Sng, chairman of the Orchard Road Business Association, which organised the light-up that runs from tomorrow to Jan 1.

Called Christmas On A Great Street, the light-up stretches 2.88km from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura and will start at 6.30pm every day during the seven-week period.

An exhibition featuring more than 20 pictures, with some dating back to 1984, will be part of this year's event. The exhibition outside Shaw House Urban Plaza will trace changes in the street's famous light-up.

It rounds off a year-long campaign by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to mark 50 years of tourism in the country.

One of the pictures on display shows Wisma Atria Shopping Centre as a Christmas ship in 1992.

The light-up will be officially launched by President Tony Tan Keng Yam tomorrow.

This year's light-up is a departure from the past few years', where only one or two colours were featured.

Other highlights include a mass carolling event outside Tong Building on Christmas Eve and a concert on Christmas Day.

Shoppers can snap photos at specially designed structures set up at various points along the street.

The glittering photo points come in the form of a giant Christmas gift box, a photo frame and window, among other things.

Visitors will be able to walk under the Christmas lights on a vehicle-free Orchard Road on Dec 6, the street's third Pedestrian Night.

There will be outdoor screenings of local films, bouncy castles for children and photo opportunities with Christmas mascots that evening, said STB's director of lifestyle precincts development, Ms Tan Yen Nee.

The festive cheer extends well beyond Orchard Road.

At Changi Airport, a three-storey German Neuschwanstein Castle at Terminal 3's departure hall will transform it into a winter wonderland. Other decorations include snowy Swiss chalets, traditional Japanese cottages and a Broadway-style New York City.

Meanwhile, the Singapore River will be decked out in Yuletide cheer, with eye-catching 8m-tall red trees dotting its banks from tonight to Jan 2, said Ms Michelle Koh, executive director of Singapore River One, which manages Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay.

Festive markets will be set up at Clarke Quay and there will be fireworks displays. Christmas carollers will cruise down the river to serenade visitors.

This article was first published on November 14, 2014.
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