If there is one thing to look forward to every Christmas for many Singaporeans including myself, it is the Christmas Decorations and the Christmas Lights that will be up along Orchard Road. In fact it has almost become a tradition for me to visit Orchard Road with friends each December to take in the “Christmas Air” and just enjoy the festive air that is all around.
This year will be no different with the Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA for short) transforming the Great Street (that is Orchard Road) into a sensational winter wonderland from the 23rd November 2013 Saturday to 5th January 2014.
Christmas on A Great Street
Christmas on A Great Street, the amazing festive light-up that takes place annually on Orchard Road will showcase a magnificent display of wintry tomes, as resplendent diamonds and interactive stars bring to the forefront the elegant beauty of Christmastime.
Visitors to Orchard Road this year end can expect to see a magnificent Gateway at the Scotts / Paterson junction of Orchard Road opening up into a sparkling fairy tale world. There will be glittery diamonds cascading gently from trees, enchanting hues of blue and gentle swirls of dreamy white arching above the busy streets.
“The Christmas lights on Orchard Road have always been the precinct’s iconic event. More importantly, it is also a signature event which allows Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA) to give back to our community. In fact, this is the 30th year Community Chest will use our Light-Up Ceremony as the launch pad of their annual charity drive,” said Mrs May Sng, Chairman of ORBA.
“Every year, the Association and stakeholders put in best efforts to create a markedly different Christmas experience for all shoppers. This holiday season, ORBA is pleased to present our new GPS-enabled Walking Map – one that is aimed at enhancing street-level navigation and boosting the Christmas shopping experience on Orchard Road,” Mrs Sng added.
The Map allows users to receive step-by-step route instructions by entering their starting point and destination based on buildings and common landmarks (e.g. MRT stations, Istana). This navigational tool makes use of all the underpasses on Orchard Road – a first amongst common digital map tools like Google Maps and Gothere.sg.
Supported by main sponsor Hitachi, official card MasterCard and the Singapore Tourism Board, ORBA is once again presenting the most beautiful avenue of the world1 in stunning holiday pizzazz.
“As main sponsor, the Hitachi Group is once again thrilled to be part of the annual Christmas light-up that brings the joy and wonders of Christmas on A Great Street. Eagerly awaited by both locals and visitors, Hitachi has been participating in this wonderful tradition for the past 23 years. Our support has not only provided us the chance to spread enjoyment during this Yuletide season but also to share our love with the beneficiaries through Community Chest’s activities. We are pleased to pledge our continued support to Orchard Road Business Association and Community Chest,” said Mr Kiyoaki Iigaya, Chief Executive for Asia, Hitachi, Ltd.
“MasterCard is proud to be the Official Card of Christmas on A Great Street. Together with Fashion Steps Out and the Great Singapore Sale, MasterCard cardholders can look forward to exclusive privileges across all the key retail events in Singapore throughout the year. Beyond rewarding our cardholders this Christmas, MasterCard will also be reaching out to the less fortunate. In conjunction with the national giving day #GivingTuesdaySG on 3 December 2013, every MasterCard PayPass contactless transaction on that day will contribute towards supporting the Singapore Children’s Society. To kick off the season of giving, we are also pleased to provide $10,000 worth of MasterCard prepaid cards to the Community Chest that will go towards the purchase of household items, bringing cheer to needy families during the festive period,” said Ms Julienne Loh, General Manager, MasterCard Singapore.
The Light-Up Ceremony
This year’s light-up ceremony will take place at the newly renovated Shaw House Urban Plaza, Level 1 on Saturday 23rd November 2013 at 6pm. The guest of honor this year is non other than the President himself, Dr Tony Tan and the light-up ceremony will mark the start of a brilliant display of radiant lights all across Orchard Road.
Christmas is the season to give and in partnership with Celebrate Christmas In Singapore (CCIS) and 100 student volunteers from Republic Polytechnic (RP), ORBA will donate $1 to the Community Chest for every candle lit by members of the public in front of ION Orchard.
Members of the public can also catch exciting performances by local school groups such as Tao Nan School, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls School (primary), Xin Min Primary School, Queenstown Secondary School as well as local jazz band, Lounge Lizards, in front of Paragon from 7pm – 930pm.
More Reasons To Visit Orchard Road This Festive Season
Visitors to Orchard Road this year will be in for lots of goodies thanks to the good people at ORBA and the various partners that will give everyone a good reason to head down to Orchard Road this year end.
Ever feel lost in the great sea of people or wondering if there is a faster way to get from one shopping center to another? Well this will be a thing of the past thanks to the ORBA Walking Map which is part of the free @Orchard app that shoppers can download in to their Apple or Andriod devices. With the added underground routes and connections between malls and shortcuts to favorite stores, shoppers can now spend more time shopping and less time walking.
Shoppers will also be delighted to know that with a minimum spending of $200 on their MasterCard Credit or Debit cards at any of the 11 participating Orchard Road establishments, they will receive a $10 shopping voucher. This is limited to the first 500 cardholders per week from 23rd November to 20th December and on a while stocks last basis from 21st December to 5th January 2014.
But that is not all as MasterCard cardholders can look forward to another surprise. A limousine service has been arranged as part of the Christmas Rewards campaign period and selected shoppers can look forward to being surprised with a Priceless ride home after a rewarding day of shopping.
Not forgetting the newly unveiled Robinsons Orchard at The Heeren which spans 186,000 square feet. Offering over 380 new brands, of which over 280 are exclusive to Robinsons Orchard and over 200 of these are New-to-Market and Exclusive brands, shoppers definitely would want to drop by and check it out.
Best Dressed Building Contest 2013
One of my favorite things each year is the Best Dress Building Contest where the various shopping malls will “dress up” in Christmas decorations. This not only adds to the whole festive atmosphere for shoppers and visitors alike but also a chance to see how creative each shopping mall can be.
Members of the public are invited to take part in this contest by voting for their favorite via the @Orchard app and stand a chance to win the top prize of a $500 shopping voucher. 6 voters of the winning building will win this plus another 6 voters of the 3 runner up will win for themselves a $250 voucher.
“Season of Gifting” Charity Program
In partnership with ORBA as the Official Online Media Partner, Clozette (www.clozette.co) will launch a charity program during the period of the light-up. Over 20 gift ideas across various beauty and fashion brands will be hosted on Clozette’s Xmas 2013 “Season of Gifting” microsite (www.clozette.co/xmas2013). Online users from across the region are invited to share virtual gifts with friends via Facebook and invite them to receive and HEART (Like) the gift items. For every HEART received, Clozette will donate $1 to Community Chest. All participants will be entered into a lucky draw where they stand to win shopping vouchers sponsored by Orchard Central mall.
Celebrating Christmas In Singapore
Feel the festive buzz as it builds up in the days leading to Christmas with a calendar filled with performances and exciting festivities. From 17 – 23 December 2013, visitors to Orchard Road can relish the delight of the season with yuletide performances at Wisma Atria, Mandarin Gallery and Tong Building. Take a breather from all that Christmas shopping to explore the quaint Christmas Village set up at Mandarin Gallery or visit the interactive booths and Boulevard of Giving at Wisma Atria.
On 24 December 2013, be enthralled by captivating voices belting out classic Christmastime favorites in the annual Mass Carolling event. Taking place at Tong Building Plaza from 730pm – 830pm, the joyous carollers will take visitors one step closer to welcoming Christmas on the eve of the holiday.
On 25 December 2013, from 730pm – 945pm, deck the halls with the spirit of the holidays and join CCIS as they celebrate their 10th anniversary with a Grand Christmas Concert. Expect to be charmed on Christmas Day by an impressive line-up of local and foreign talents, all while basking in the merrymaking with fellow festive revellers. Participants from the region will also gather for the inaugural Praise Dance Exercise as everyone dances to the drum beat of renowned Master Drummer from Taiwan, accompanied by followers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
With so many things happening this Christmas Season, there is really no reason why you shouldn’t head down to Orchard Road. From great deals for those looking to do their Christmas shopping and interesting decorations for those who want to soak in the Christmas spirit, not forgetting the performances by the people from CCIS, Orchard Road is the place to be this year end.
For more information do head over to http://www.orchardroad.org/christmas/
Photo credits : Orchard Road Business Association
by Kenneth Wong
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