Orchard Road Christmas light-up to go ahead but scaled down without street festivities

SINGAPORE – The Christmas light-up on Orchard Road will be a scaled-down affair this year, with the usual street festivities called off due to the ongoing pandemic.

But organisers are still promising a dazzling spectacle when it kicks off on Nov 13, with a wintry display of snowflakes, mistletoe and hollies to set the shopping street aglow.

For the first time, viewers at home will be able to experience “driving” along the the 2.9km stretch from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura in a virtual tour featuring 360-degree views.

The 14m main arch at the junction of Orchard and Paterson Roads will be adorned with a blue ribbon and glittering reindeer, while lamppost decorations will feature Christmas trees and white and gold baubles through Jan 1.

The Great Christmas Village fair that typically accompanies the light-up with food, amusement rides, games and performances will not be returning this year, however.

The Orchard Road Business Association (Orba) said in a statement on Monday (Oct 5) that the decision was made to minimise the risk of crowds gathering and to safeguard public health and safety.

In dedicating this year’s light-up to frontline workers, Orba said it will be working with platforms such as Lions of Healthcare to reward healthcare staff, security guards, delivery staff and others with promotions for shopping, dining and services. More information will be made available on the Christmas on A Great Street microsite in November, it said.

Visitors to the microsite can also nominate a frontline hero by sharing an inspiring story of resilience for a chance to win prizes for themselves as well as their heroes.

Orba chairman Mark Shaw said the association is grateful to be able to continue the 37-year light-up tradition, albeit on a more modest scale this year.

An artist’s impression of this year’s light-up, which will be dedicated to frontline workers. PHOTO: ORCHARD ROAD BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

“We believe it is important to lift up spirits as we wrap up a very challenging year, and encourage people to share love and joy with family and friends, as well as their appreciation for our frontline heroes, not just in healthcare but in other industries, all of whom have worked tirelessly to protect us and keep the economy going during the pandemic,” he said.

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