Orchard Road Christmas light-up to go old school with more traditional feel, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Orchard Road Christmas light-up to go old school with more traditional feel

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This year's Christmas light-up in Orchard Road will have a more traditional feel, following criticism that last year's Disney-themed decorations had drawn focus away from the holiday's meaning.

Santa Claus will be the mascot and will feature heavily in the glittering archways and adornments lining the street, the Orchard Road Business Association (Orba) announced at a press conference yesterday.

Themed The Greatest Gift, the decorations will include other Yuletide staples such as Christmas trees and presents.

This year's light-up, which will run from Nov 16 to Jan 1 next year, will also be expanded, with street decorations extending to Grange Road and Orchard Link for the first time.

The Great Christmas Village, held at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza over the past two years, will spread across three locations and feature more rides and food vendors.


Orba chairman Mark Shaw told reporters at the Mandarin Orchard hotel that this year's theme was not influenced by the feedback last year.

He pointed to the first branded light-up in the event's 35-year history, which was the result of a three-year collaboration between The Walt Disney Company South-east Asia and the Singapore Tourism Board to bring themed events here.

Said Mr Shaw: "We've always tried to do the Christmas message generally and it may have gotten slightly lost last year.

"I thought it was still there, but it's just maybe how it was interpreted."

Last year, Disney characters such as Cinderella took centre stage in the decorations, and this was criticised by the National Council of Churches of Singapore, which said the Christian festival's original meaning had been buried under an "extensive and sophisticated brand promotion exercise".

But there were also those who did not object to the Disney theme, saying it was compatible with the shopping season and held broad appeal.

This year, grander lamp post decorations will line the Tanglin, Orchard and Somerset sub-precincts, which will each have a unique theme, Orba said.

Including the extended area, a total of 3.9km will be lit up by more than 6km of string lights and almost 200 Christmas tree-shaped LED decorations.

The Great Christmas Village will run from Nov 23 to Dec 26 at *Scape, the Grange Road open-air carpark and Shaw House Urban Plaza. It will feature more than 30 amusement rides and game booths, as well as food trucks, musical performances and other activities.