So the super long Jubilee Weekend has come and gone (sniff), and I'm sure all of us would have celebrated Singapore's 50th Birthday in our very own special way. For us, we kicked off the long weekend with a family picnic at Marina Barrage in the morning... and it turned out that loads of Singaporeans had the same idea too!
Jointly organised by PUB (Singapore’s national water agency), Ministry of Social and Family Development, Republic of Singapore Air Force and Nparks, the Families for Life Picnics were held on both 7 and 8 August 2015 to celebrate Singapore turning 50 years old.
It was rather fitting that the picnics were held at Marina Barrage, as the dam there forms Singapore's first reservoir in the city and 15th reservoir. Growing up, we all know that Singapore's limited water supply has always been an important factor in our nation's survival. Did you know that local catchment water from our reservoirs constitutes one of our Four National Taps, with the other three being imported water, NEWater and desalinated water?
Water is definitely precious so it was apt that PUB also took the chance to set up social media booths to engage the picnic-going crowd - especially the kids! - with fun activities and interactive games.
And judging from the snaking queues at the booths, it is safe to say they were a hit. Okay, so the freebies helped too I suppose.
Of course, what is a carnival without the mandatory kiddy train rides and bouncy castles to keep the little ones entertained, no?
All these, while the adults were kept busy with the flea market stalls and food trucks!
But the real action was on the Green Roof of Marina Barrage, where a huge crowd of families had gathered for a morning's worth of food, games and spending time together.
Families were kept entertained by the many nostalgic childhood games, performances by local artistes, as well as the Families for Life Mobile Café which served up complimentary food and beverages!
Needless to say, the mood was amazingly festive. Everyone clapped, cheered and sang along with the familiar NDP songs that were blasting from the speakers.
And then, the skies opened up.
Initially, most scrambled for shelter to escape from the rain but thankfully, the rain was not that heavy and it soon slowed to a drizzle - just in time for this.
The RSAF Black Knights, Singapore’s very own aerobatics team!
And my word, what a spectacular aerial display it was.
I got to see the hard work that went behind the scenes in preparation for the NDP flypast last year and even though it was not the Black Knights, I believe the amount perspiration and passion that goes into the precision of the aerial display is anything but less.
Definitely a crowd pleaser, the Black Knights were and the picnic goers showed their appreciation through their warm applause at the end of the 25-minute performance.
Maybe it was the Jubilee Weekend but I was struck by the sense of camaraderie bubbling throughout the event. People were more than happy to share spaces - mats, even - while others offered umbrellas or plastic sheets when rain felled.
Even while we were heading home, we were stuck in a horrendous jam in the Marina Barrage area. Traffic literally came to a standstill with all of the cars not being to move for close to 30 minutes. But do you know what was funny? There was not a single honk sounded. Drivers came out of their cars to wait, some to make small talk with one another while there were a few kind souls who directed traffic so as to try to get the long line of cars moving. Even the wifey commented I did not lose my patience! Lol.
Perhaps everyone was in a celebratory mood. Perhaps we knew one another was there to spend time with loved ones. Or perhaps we all know we have a lot to be grateful for. Sure, we grumble about MRT breakdowns, the cost of cars and housing, and the education system but I don't think we are worse off than the good old days. This little island has definitely come pretty far in the last 50 years I am thankful of everything that she has achieved, and proud to call Singapore my home... for it is where my family is.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the picnic and hopefully, there will be more such picnics staged at Marina Barrage! Do keep updated with future events at PUB's Facebook page and Instagram account. Who knows, there may be giveaways to win Water Wally premiums too! :)
|Photo courtesy of PUB|
And remember, it doesn't hurt to teach the kiddos a few useful Water Saving Tips as well!