Although it was 7.30pm last night, hundreds of Chong Pang residents were already seen standing at Sembawang Road, near the gate entrance of Chong Pang City, near to Blk 106. Casually dressed, young couples with babies or toddlers, teenagers, young children, middle-aged uncles and aunties were crowding around the stage erected there. The nearby coffeeshop enjoyed brisk business, as many families went there for outdoor dinner while enjoying the stage performances and waiting eagerly in anticipation of the Chingay floats, of which were estimated to pass by Chong Pang ward at about 9pm.
The Chingay Up North Procession started at Causeway Point shopping centre in Woodlands at 6.30pm and was to end at a hardcourt in Nee Soon East ward at 10.15pm. There were 9 stops in total. My neighbourhood area was the 7th stop. It was led by a Hippo open-top bus, with the following advisers of the Sembawang GRC ward onboard: Mr Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for MOM & MOH aka Adviser to Marsiling GROs; Dr Mohammad Maliki Bin Osman, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for MOH aka Adviser to Admiralty GROs; Ms Ellen Lee Geck Hoon, Adviser to Woodlads GROs; Dr Lim Wee Kiak, Adviser to Canberra GROs; Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Law aka Adviser for Chong Pang GROs. They were accompanied by Mr Yam Ah Mee, Chief Executive Director of People’s Association and other CCC chairmen.
Who was the Guest of Honour? He was none other than Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for Health aka Adviser to Sembawang GROs.
Members of the Traffic Police, youth volunteers from Chingay Parade and Heartware Network were present on site to maintain public law and order. The Chingay @ North 2011 Variety Show 2011 which was organised by Chong Pang Grassroots Organisations, begun at 8pm. Audience was kept entertained by the captivating ge-tai performances on stage. Ah, I saw my friend Lian Weixiong!!
Finally at about 9.15pm, the emcee of the variety show announced the arrival of the Chingay Procession. The Chinese Lions danced to the rhythms of Chinese drums and cymbals, welcoming the VIPs and the Chingay floats. The VIPs alighted from the bus, making a brief stop to mingle with Chong Pang residents. Some residents stepped forward to greet them in delight, wishing them Happy Chinese New Year. Many others were seen grabbing the opportunity to whip out their digital cameras or mobile devices to take snapshots of the beautiful floats. Performers on floats gladly posed for photographs to be taken. Yes, I saw the Chingay floats again, up close and personal!!! Hehe.
The VIPs returned to their bus soon to continue their journey, leading the ten brightly lit floats down Sembawang Road, turning to Yishun Ring Road, heading towards Nee Soon Central ward.
The Chingay @ North 2011 Variety Show 2011 resumed its performances after the floats left. It ended at 10pm.