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Festivities in full flow at River Hongbao carnival

Toh Wen Li on 27 Jan 2017

The Straits Times


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This year's River Hongbao event at The Float @ Marina Bay kicked off with a bang yesterday, with fireworks, a live performance by local heart-throb Nathan Hartono and dazzling music and dance shows.


River Hongbao has been part of Singapore's Chinese New Year festivities since 1987. This year's edition will run till next Saturday and is expected to draw more than a million visitors. The free 10-day event will feature fireworks daily.


The carnival will be held from 2pm to 11pm daily, but will run until 1am today. Other acts at the carnival include xinyao and getai songs by local artists, as well as performances by overseas groups such as the Chongqing Song and Dance Troupe.


This year, there is also an interactive mobile app that allows people to send Chinese New Year wishes that appear as writings on sky lanterns on their mobile screens. Visitors can then put on virtual reality glasses for a 360-degree view of the flying lanterns.


One of the people joining in the fun yesterday was retiree Sng Kang, 60, who was born in the Year of the Rooster. Said Mr Sng, who has been attending River Hongbao nearly every year for the past decade: "Every year they have new things, new shows to watch. I like the dancers from Taiwan and China."


There are also more than 30 rides and game booths, as well as handicraft and food stalls, and an exhibition celebrating Singapore's multicultural heritage.


There will also be a Chinese New Year Eve countdown ceremony today. The main stage event will start at 10pm.


River Hongbao 2017 is organised by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, Singapore Press Holdings, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Singapore Tourism Board and the People's Association.


Separately, there will be a Chinatown Chinese New Year 2017 countdown party today at Chinatown from 10pm to midnight.


This event, organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee, will feature live performances, games with Mediacorp artists, and a fireworks and firecracker display at midnight.


Find out more at River Hongbao's website here.


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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