Dazzling start to Orchard Road Christmas light-up amid Covid-19 pandemic

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s premier shopping district was a fairyland of lights on Friday (Nov 13) as the annual Christmas light-up in Orchard Road was activated at 7.30 pm.

The shopping street, decked out with snow flakes, mistletoe and holly decorations, was gleaming with nearly 50km of LED street lights that stretched from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura.

With the theme Love This Christmas, this year’s light-up is a quieter affair owing to the scaling back of street activities, amid the coronavirus pandemic, to minimise crowds and ensure the safe health of shoppers.

The festivities, however, will continue virtually, with viewers at home able to experience “driving” along the 2.9km stretch in Orchard Road in a virtual tour featuring 360-degree views.

The lights will come on nightly from now until Jan 1 next year. They will be turned on from 6.30pm to midnight (Sundays to Thursdays); 6.30pm to 2am (Fridays and Saturdays) and 6.30pm to 6am (Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve).

White and gold baubles and Christmas ornaments add shine to the trees and lamp posts in Orchard Road. And a 14m-tall main arch, adorned with multiple glittering reindeer, spans the junction of Orchard and Paterson roads.

An artist’s impression of the Christmas lights at the junction of Orchard and Cairnhill Roads. 

The light-up, which is in its 37th year, is organised by the Orchard Road Business Association.

Its chairman, Mr Mark Shaw, declined to disclose this year’s budget, citing confidentiality agreements.

He, however, stressed instead that the aim of the event is to lift spirits in a challenging year when Singaporeans are also unable to travel during the year-end holidays.

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