I was at the Marina Bay “the float” on new year’s eve to catch the countdown party at the floating platform, as well as the 2018 Fireworks at Marina Bay. It was pouring heavy rain that evening yesterday. However, that didn’t dampen our spirits for the new year. The fireworks lasted about a sub 6 minutes to welcome the new year. Noticeably, it was tad shorter than previous year celebrations.

Ending fireworks display

Entertainment?

Moreover, this year’s countdown seems pretty dead on the event organizers on the entertainment part. Strangely, there weren’t any stage performances beforehand. In place, there is just an open fair ground where people can buy food, merchandise and picnic on the float while waiting for the fireworks.

Float Carnival Stall

It is tad abit too commercialized for my taste. But there was a huge turn-out of crowds at the event nonetheless. Furthermore, the queues at every store and even the toilets were at least a 10-15 minute wait each.

Moreover, the floating platform is transformed into an open picnic area, where you can setup mats and dine on the food purchased from the various stores. A great idea, only if everyone is not swimming in ankle deep puddles of water in the rain!

Picnic on the float

Additionally, I felt there could be more entertainment while waiting for the fireworks to start. There were short burst of fireworks every hour mark, at 10pm and one at 11pm. For the people present, we had the light and fountain show at Marina Bay Sands to keep us occupied.

Thankfully, event crowd control and security was commendable, especially the opening of additional entrances to the venue. Both the floating platform and the seating gallery were nearly full of spectators, both tourists and locals alike. Everyone braving the heavy rain to usher the new year in comradery.

Spectators on the gallery stand

From the spectator stands, you can see lines of brave souls camping out on the public areas, braving the cold and wind and not giving up their vantage spots under their umbrellas on the Helix bridge and the Esplanade area to catch the even too. Things were tad better on the spectator stands, with the exception of the occasional umbrella blocking the view of the fireworks.

Fireworks display

The fireworks started with a countdown with the timer synchronized on projection on both the Marina Bay Sands Art Science museum and the Fullerton Hotel. Here, message greetings can be sent for projection on the Fullerton building too.

The fireworks were fired off from two floating barges at the center of the marina reservoir. The show still visible at night being obscured by the heavy rain and smoke from the fireworks. The show ended with a climax of a barrage of shooting stars at the end.

Check out the Fireworks in the video below.

Smooth post event

I learnt the lesson of driving to a countdown even last year, having to get stuck 2 hours in the carpark exit frenzy jam which kept me up till 4am last year. I got smarter and took the MRT back home this time round. Exit crowds were huge, but everything was smooth slow and steady out of the venue.

Moreover, the event staff and crowd management team did a very great job in moving people out of the downtown venue in the breeze. Commuters had a choice of 3 MRT stations- promenade, esplanade and city hall all within walking distance. Exit was smooth and breezey. The presence of extended public transport and MRT services till 2am was a great welcome too, though not free like in London.

Nonetheless, a pleasant countdown event. A a great way to usher in the new year with a “wet” bang!

Happy New 2018!

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