Light up the night

The fireworks display lit up the night sky

SINGAPORE - In the stands at The Float@Marina Bay, Mr Salam Osman, 35, was beaming with pride. Not only being patriotic, but also because his All because he wanted to show support for his 12-year-old daughter, Nadia Sazliana, was one of the children emcees in the show.

Seated in the front row with his wife, eight-year-old son and three-year-old niece in tow, the operations manager said: "We are so proud. It's been tough on her during her rehearsals because it was the fasting month, and we wanted to be here as a form of support and encouragement."

Mr Salam's family was part of the 27,000-strong crowd present at The Float@Marina Bay to celebrate the nation's birthday. And they were brimming with gusto, cheerily lustily for the various performers and singing their hearts out.

One major highlight was the arrival of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Members of the audience gave him a standing ovation as he was helped to a seat.

Many rushed the stairway nearby to get a shot of the 89-year-old. Financial planner Lilian Lim, 32, said she had wondered whether he would come because of his age. She added with a smile: "He looks a little frail, but still I'm glad to see him here at the parade."

Young or old, parade goers were spotted thoroughly enjoying themselves. Nine-year-old Liew Yan Keen was there with his grandfather Lee Kum Weng, 69.

Behind the camera

The student was spotted anxiously fiddling with a camera mounted on a tripod, and he shyly confessed that he wanted to capture for himself the spectacle of the fireworks and the parade.

"I became interested in photography when I was 7 because of my grandfather," Yan Keen said with a wide grin.

His grandfather, a retired photographer, beamed at his grandson proudly as the youngster snapped away.

The parade did not go entirely as planned - the much anticipated segment by the Singapore Armed Forces' display parachutist team, the Red Lions, and the jump by the first woman Red Lion, Third Warrant Officer Shirley Ng, 35, had to be cancelled due to the cloudy weather.

But it did not dampen the spirits of the audience unduly, as they waved their strobe lights,and sang along lustily to medley of catchy tunes that accompanied the performances.

The crowd-pleasing fireworks display lit up the night sky at about 8.15pm, garnering oohs and ahhs.

The NDP parade impressed marketing executive Robert Loh, 32, who was attending the event for the first time.

He enthused about the experience: "I really felt the atmosphere at the parade itself. I especially liked the catchy pop songs they used this year."

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