The 40th annual Christmas on A Great Street, Orchard Road’s iconic year-end light-up event that marks the beginning of the holiday season, is back with an array of exciting and fun-filled activities for the whole family. Guest-of-Honour President Tharman Shanmugaratnam will officiate the Light-Up Ceremony at Shaw House Urban Plaza on 16 November 2023.
Highlights of the event include a street party on December 24th and the presence of three Great Christmas Villages. These villages will be brimming with carnival rides, engaging games, pop-up shops featuring locally-designed crafts, and an assortment of food and beverage stalls. As a unique addition, Orchard Road will host its inaugural Christmas Eve street party, spanning from Paterson Junction to Bideford Junction, closed to traffic from 6 pm onwards. From 8 pm to 12:30 am, the venue will be transformed into a lively street party.
The theme for this year’s light-up captures a child’s imagination as you journey through a dreamscape reminiscent of cotton candy clouds. You’ll encounter enchanting elements like Christmas trees, bells, teddy bears, reindeer, and candy canes, all set against a backdrop of soft, glowing LED lights in shades of white, yellow, pink, and turquoise, creating the illusion of floating clouds. Christmas on A Great Street is supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
Organised by the Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA) in collaboration with Community Chest, the Light-Up Ceremony aims to raise funds to provide support to more than 100 social service agencies offering over 200 critical social service programmes. It will be a milestone event, being the 40th anniversary of the lighting up of Orchard Road at Christmas, and the 25th anniversary of ORBA, the Place Manager of the precinct which looks after the interests of businesses along Orchard Road. In keeping with the theme, ORBA invites Singaporeans to dream like a child and envision the endless possibilities for Orchard Road as businesses along the city’s main thoroughfare celebrate four decades of growth and transformation.
ORBA Chairman Mr Mark Shaw said: “We hope that Singaporeans, visitors and residents will be as excited as we are with our plans for Christmas on A Great Street. It is a milestone year and we want everyone to have a fantastic time as they celebrate the season of joy, peace and goodwill to all. In collaboration with our partners, we promise an exciting line-up of activities, including the Christmas Eve street party and Christmas Villages.”
“This year, we are doubling down on efforts to reduce our carbon footprint as we bring Christmas cheer to everyone. We will be repurposing past years’ LED lights and decor, and installing solar panels to harness renewable energy for two Christmas set pieces. Additionally, we will be working closely with partners on initiatives such as tree planting to make a meaningful impact on the environment.”
Ms Guo Teyi, Director, Retail & Dining, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “Christmas on A Great Street is a highly anticipated event on our calendar, where we welcome locals and tourists of all ages to enjoy the festivities in Orchard Road. Amped-up experiences such as the first-ever Christmas Eve street party and Christmas Villages add vibrancy to the precinct, making it a must-visit lifestyle destination during the year-end season. Visitors can also explore the latest flagship stores, brands and experiential offerings while enjoying the dazzling light-up.”
Stepping up on Sustainability and Social Causes
Christmas on A Great Street 2023 incorporates numerous sustainability features in line with ORBA’s efforts to cut waste and use less energy. These include repurposing energy-efficient LED lights and fixtures, as well as installing solar panels to power the two set pieces located in front of Mandarin Gallery and Plaza Singapura. Additionally, ORBA will work with the National Parks Board’s Garden City Fund Plant-A-Tree Programme to plant 100 new trees on Orchard Road as well as the rest of Singapore.
The Christmas Light-Up this year will continue to reuse and recycle decorative items as well as electrical and support equipment in efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. In addition, some of the decor and lights will be donated to charities like EQUAL which works with rescued animals and horses to support beneficiaries with mental health conditions and other needs. To further support the renewable energy market, ORBA will purchase renewable energy credits from the SP Group for the event.
Mr Kojin Nakakita, Chairman of Hitachi Asia Ltd., said: “Hitachi is honoured to be the main sponsor of the Christmas Light-Up for 33 consecutive years. We are thrilled to continue with this annual tradition of spreading festive joy and cheer to all Singaporeans and tourists. In line with the spirit of Powering Good, Hitachi is committed to creating a more sustainable world through Digital, Green and Innovative solutions. With this in mind, we hope to continue to contribute responsibly to Singapore as well as the ASEAN community.”
Mastercard, the Official Card for Christmas on A Great Street for the 11th year running, has also pledged to restore one tree globally for every eligible transaction made with a Mastercard at the 15 participating Orchard Road malls between 1 November 2023 and 1 January 2024 through their Priceless Planet Coalition partner, Conservation International Foundation.
As with last year, there will be open-top bus tours to thank migrant workers for their hard work for Singapore.
Christmas Eve Street Party
The street party on Christmas Eve will feature performances by NCC Command Band from Swiss Cottage Secondary School, dance performances, Christmas carolling, Santa Meet & Greet sessions, four DJs to manage the music and engage the crowd, a Christmas Market, food trucks galore, and a countdown to Christmas, among other offerings.
Three Great Christmas Villages
Visitors can also look forward to three Great Christmas Villages – up from just one last year – filled with carnival rides and games, pop-up stores and food & beverage kiosks. The Great Christmas Villages are located outside Shaw House, Ngee Ann City and, for the first time, Plaza Singapura.
The first of the three Christmas Villages at Shaw House Urban Plaza will commence from 24 November, featuring a double-storey carousel and ferris wheel among its variety of rides and games.
The remaining two at Plaza Singapura and Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza begin from 1 December and 8 December respectively, with the Plaza Singapura venue featuring a giant Christmas on A Great Street-themed bouncy castle with a fun slide, a balloon dome, mascot meet-and-greet activities, and craft workshops from Singapore’s much-loved edutainment park, Kiztopia.
The event at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza will offer carnival games and rides such as a Euro Swing ride, an arcade as well as drinks, food trucks and live performances by local buskers and bands such as Daniel Sid, LAYYI, The Cold Cut Duo and Waymakers from Friday to Saturday evenings from 7.15pm to 9.15pm. The Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza will also extend its opening hours till 12:30 am on Christmas Eve, as well as on New Year’s Eve. The myriad of attractions means there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy.
From 7 November onwards, visitors to Orchard Road can look forward to brand pop-ups and set pieces located along the pedestrian walkway from ION Orchard to Mandarin Gallery. Among the pop-up stores, Geneco and Yellow Ribbon Bakery join hands to debut exclusive cookies handcrafted by prison inmates. Members of the public who vote for their favourite Inspirational Quotes of Hope at Geneco’s pop-up store will be given a bag of Red Velvet & Almonds cookies on 9, 10, 16 and 17 December 2023.
Outdoor AR projections
This year’s augmented reality projection, in partnership with OUE Limited, will again be displayed on the façade of Hilton Singapore Orchard. The projection will create an illusion of three-dimensionality, blurring the boundary between reality and illusion, as well as feature Rube Goldberg machines that set off chain reactions when various components and contraptions are activated. An immersive 3D experience can be enjoyed by viewing them through the PopAR Live app on a mobile phone.
Other AR displays can also be found on any of the 25 glass panels lining the pedestrian walkway from ION Orchard to Mandarin Gallery. All the outdoor visual projections will be switched on from 1 November 2023 to 1 January 2024.
Music in the Air, played synchronously from speakers perched on 44 lamp posts on both sides of Orchard Road, will further enhance the festive atmosphere. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, a countdown clock will help revellers mark the start of Christmas and the New Year.
Mastercard Christmas Rewards
A total of 15 malls will participate in Christmas Rewards with Mastercard between 16 November and 28 December 2023. Shoppers with $300 in eligible transactions across a maximum of five same-day receipts at the participating malls stand to receive $30 mall-specific vouchers. This exclusive offer is available only to the first 100 shoppers who spend a minimum of $300 per week per mall on their Mastercard card. The promotion is available to shoppers over six weekly periods. Twelve malls will participate in the Black Friday tier rewards from 24 – 30 November, offering shoppers $50 vouchers with $500 in eligible transactions across five same-day receipts.
“Mastercard is proud to be associated with this cherished tradition that ushers in a season of joy to Singaporeans and visitors alike. ORBA’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint align with Mastercard’s own dedication tochampioning for a more sustainable future through the Priceless Planet Coalition, which aims to restore 100 million trees by 2025. Mastercard is proud to focus on creating meaningful impact on the climate, community, and biodiversity,” said Deborah Heng, Country Manager, Singapore, Mastercard.
Christmas on A Great Street Stay Packages
Locals and travellers can enjoy a range of exclusive hotel packages from Pullman Singapore Orchard, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel and The St. Regis Singapore from now till 1 January 2024. The stay packages include complimentary breakfast and SGD50 in Great Christmas Village credits per room booking.