TNP Mardi Gras: A night to remember

SINGAPORE - Mardi Gras dancers in bejewelled costumes strutted to hypnotic rhythms from batucada drummers.

Capoeira dancers executed leaps while the crowd cheered, caught up in the atmosphere. From the beginning of the evening, it was clear it would be a night to remember.

The New Paper celebrated its 25th birthday in style on Friday night, throwing a Mardi Gras-themed celebration at The Courtyard, Robertson Walk.

People were packing the space, braving the slight drizzle midway through the night.

Senior sales consultant Ken Tan, 33, and his wife Mavis Heng, 35, were among those present. Mr Tan described the party as "electrifying", saying: "You got fantastic music. You got great drinks."

The couple, who have read TNP for 20 years, had booked their tickets online about a month ago.

Asked why they read TNP, Ms Heng, a secretary, said it gave "all the latest updates and gossip". Also partying the night away were The New Paper New Face 2013 top 20 finalists.

They were making their debut at the party and the girls were feeling the jitters.

One of the finalists, student Saffron Sharpe, 16, said: "I'm excited but also nervous about the catwalk because I don't have any prior experience.

"But I'm really looking forward to the party. It's going to be really fun and a great stress-reliever because I'm taking my O levels this year."

Then it was show time and their nerves were quickly swept away as they got drawn into the party.

Fifteen-year-old student Shazeilla Sariffin said: "I felt like a superstar. There were lots of people watching us and lights were flashing everywhere."

Partygoers were also able to mingle and take photos with the girls at a photo booth that had been set-up at the event.

One of the first few to get a picture was Ms Kenli Choong, 42, a TNP reader for 18 years, who bought her tickets to the party after reading a write-up about the event in the paper.

Tourists were also drawn into the fun. Ms Wu Jiamin, 25, from China, was drawn to the courtyard with her family .

They were staying at the serviced apartments nearby. "We just looked out of the window and saw that there was a big party, so we decided to join in," said Ms Wu.

She really liked the Mardi Gras style of the party, saying: "It is quite new to me and very crazy."

She also noted the "many handsome boys in the middle" of the courtyard, referring to the Manhunt Singapore contestants gathered for the celebrations.

One of the sponsors for the event was 42 Below vodka. Ms Ling Chien Ning, brand manager for 42 Below at Bacardi-Martini Singapore, said: "The New Paper is about easy reading and easy entertainment. Yet it still gives solid news.

"42 Below is a good fit because people drink vodka for fun, but it still needs to be very good."

To end the night, revellers were handed special headphones for the silent party, where they would dance to the mixes pumped out by DJs George and Andrew T.

Queueing up for the silent party were Mr Mickie Chin, 32, and Ms Chin Lay, 26.

They have been readers of TNP since last September, and were excited about the novel concept.

When asked what they would like to say, Ms Lay, a student, said exuberantly: "Happy birthday New Paper!"


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