Brought the family to the Chinatown Light Up ceremony last night, amidst the drizzling rain, nursing Ethan’s raging fever (he insisted on going nonetheless), and the extraordinary crowds.
As usual, there were the fire crackers popping which ushered in the festivities, as well as the street lights. I found the accompanying reveberations and echoes rather eery – they reminded me of a warzone and sounded like multiple bullets firing away in the night. At certain critical periods, there were even low lying pyrotechnics which lit up the night sky.
Catching the spectacle was an eclectic mix of locals (many residents of Chinatown area), friends from China and western backpackers here and there. A few carried umbrellas with them to shield from the occasional droplets of rain.
Through the next hour or so, we were treated to many similar looking dance and martial arts performances on stage. Somehow these didn’t quite catch my fancy. Most of the acts looked like they were rehashed from Chingay.
The stage lights also seemed to be purely for the benefit of invited guests seated under the marquee at New Bridge Road. For the majority of us which are along Eu Tong Sen street (outside People’s Park Complex), we were blinded and could not clearly see what’s happening on stage. Occasionally, the emcees would turn around and address us, their faces shrouded in darkness.
I guess the main highlights were the appearance of the Looney Toon characters like Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Sylvester, Tasmanian Devil and Tweety Bird. Parents with their toddlers (yours truly included) pointed excitedly at the various cartoon characters. A group of acrobats and dancers from China did catch generate some “oohs” and “aahs” though. I thought that they did pretty well, especially the multiple hula hoop dancing performance.
Unfortunately, the purported climax of the evening was quite a let down. After waiting more than an hour for the appearance of 128 lion dancers, we only sighted them for a couple of minutes prancing in the dark. None of the lions or dragons moved on to the main stage, and you do not get the sense of scale and grandeur which this was supposed to elicit.