Your Aug 9 morning-to-night guide

Singapore turns 50 tomorrow. Here's a guide on how to make the best of this special day.


Over 80 grassroots-led National Day observance ceremonies will be held islandwide, with some starting as early as 7am. One place to check out: Lower Delta Road, where about 3,000 Tanjong Pagar and Tanglin-Cairnhill residents are expected to gather to line the road, in a symbolic gesture of strength and unity.


At 9am on the dot, SCDF's Public Warning System sirens will sound across the country and a recording of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew reading the Proclamation of Independence will be aired on local radio and TV channels. The late Mr Lee recorded it in 2012. This will be followed by the singing of the National Anthem at the grassroots-led ceremonies.


Many National Day events are being held around town. Head to the Singapore Sports Hub where more than 20 free sports, entertainment and lifestyle activities will be held from 9am to 9pm.


Get Top Gun action as the six Black Knights perform 22 complex manoeuvres in the skies just off Marina Barrage. These include aerial displays never seen before, such as the Double Heart where four pilots form two concentric hearts with their smoke trails. The show starts at noon and lasts for about 25 minutes.


Hungry for some home-cooked food? Sample dishes such as braised duck buns and ondeh ondeh ice cream at the #SgEatWithUs food carnival at the Waterfront Promenade open space, near Marina Bay Sands. It starts at noon and ends at 10pm. Coupons to buy food cost from $12.


Catch one of several free music performances at the Esplanade. A local group called The Freshman will perform at the Esplanade Concourse at 3pm, 4pm and 5pm.


For a sneak peek of behind-the-scenes parade action, head to Suntec City. Performers will be putting the last touches to their make-up and costumes.


Lucky you if you are one of the 50,000 who snagged tickets to the parade at the Padang and at the The Float @ Marina Bay. But don't fret if you didn't. Catch NDP2015 "live" via giant LED screens at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Event Plaza, MBS Event Square, The Promontory @ Marina Bay, Merlion Park, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Singapore Flyer and Marina Barrage.


Look out for the six Red Lions who will swoop down with their parachutes from 10,000 feet above the ground.


The charming "vintage" segment of the parade makes its appearance. See how policemen looked in the past in their khaki shorts, and see a modern-day version of the People's Association's colourful streamer float.


No, you're not seeing things. A Singapore Airlines A-380 will make its debut flypast across the city centre this year. Notice the special SG50 design on both sides of its fuselage.


Look up! The much-talked about "50" formation by 20 F-16 jets will appear. They fly past quickly, so get your cameras ready. A second aerial display occurs at 7pm.


Line the streets in the Marina Bay area to catch the 2km-long mobile column. Some of the war machines will then move from the Padang to roll past The Float @ Marina Bay and Marina Bay Sands. They will join people at the Esplanade Bridge for the Pledge Moment at 8.15pm.


Watch the night scene in Marina Bay come alive, as over 15 buildings around the bay are awash in a sea of red and white. The light displays will occur on the hour, till 11pm.


Sing along as Kit Chan croons the all-time NDP favourite song, Home. It will be the last song of the night.


Be wowed by a five-minute grand finale of fireworks. It will begin with the characters "SG50" forming in the sky after the National Anthem is sung, and end with fireworks shot continually for 20 seconds. There are a total of 165 visually different types of fireworks in the whole show, including the Peony effect, which is a spherical burst of single-coloured stars.


The parade may be over but the party goes on. Head to the Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay where a special edition of the Garden Rhapsody music and light show will be screened. It will come on again at 9.15pm and 10pm.


Party on with DJ Funky T, creator of the popular "Unbelievable" remix on YouTube, at the Singapore Flyer. It ends at 10pm. Free.


Last trains towards Jurong East, Marina Bay, Pasir Ris and Joo Koon will depart from City Hall MRT station at 12.30am. For more info on the timings of last bus and train services, go to or

This article was first published on August 8, 2015.
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