SINGAPORE, Nov 17, 2014 -- (ACN Newswire) -- Remember strolling down Orchard Road during Christmas as a child, when the bright lights would shine like stars in the night sky, promising goodies, presents and Yuletide joy? Relive those memories as Orchard Road transforms into a starry, colourful paradise from Saturday 15 November 2014 - Thursday 1 January 2015.
Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA) aims to give visitors an experience they will never forget with Christmas on A Great Street, the signature Light-Up that has become a must-see for Singaporeans and tourists alike. To commemorate 50 years of tourism development in Singapore, ORBA collaborated with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to inject special elements into the Christmas celebrations on Orchard Road. The Association has also offered its iconic Christmas set pieces to Community Chest as a fundraising platform.
"Apart from the annual Christmas Rewards with MasterCard, this year's Christmas celebrations on Orchard Road are also planned around two important national milestones. Christmas on A Great Street will round off Tourism50 with a photo exhibition on past Christmases on Orchard Road. In conjunction with the nationwide celebrations to welcome Singapore's 50th year of independence, Orchard Road Business Association offered our Christmas set pieces to Community Chest as a fund-raising platform under the latter's Care & Share Movement. This is our modest effort to give back to society," said Mrs May Sng, Chairman of ORBA.
Christmas on A Great Street is supported by Main Sponsor Hitachi, Official Card MasterCard and STB.
Mr Kiyoaki Iigaya, Chief Executive for Asia, Hitachi, Ltd., said, "Into our 24th year of sponsorship, the Hitachi Group of Companies is very pleased to be part of this wonderful yearly tradition of Christmas on Orchard Road - A Great Street. As a responsible corporate citizen, we deem this as a valuable opportunity for us to serve the community and share our love with the less fortunate through Community Chest's activities.
"We are also extremely thrilled to be part of SG50, the nation's golden jubilee celebration next year, through Community Chest's Care & Share Movement. Hitachi has been operating in Singapore for a long time and we are happy to be able to contribute to the country in an even bigger way this year," Mr Iigaya added.
"As the Official Card of Christmas on A Great Street, MasterCard is looking forward to spreading some extra festive cheer. Shoppers can look forward to being rewarded with vouchers for shopping at Orchard Road malls and some lucky shoppers will even be treated to free limousine rides home from MasterCard after a satisfying day out shopping. We wish all shoppers a wonderful season of giving this Christmas," said Ms Deborah Heng, Group Head & General Manager, MasterCard, Singapore.
CHRISTMAS ON A GREAT STREET THROUGH THE YEARS - CELEBRATING TOURISM50
To send off 2014 in style, this Christmas sees the culmination of STB's Tourism50 celebrations with two special events - 'Christmas on A Great Street through the years - celebrating Tourism50' photo exhibition and a Tourism50 themed 'Pedestrian Night on Orchard Road'.
Ms Tan Yen Nee, Director of Lifestyle Precincts Development, STB, said, "We are happy to be partnering ORBA once again on their signature Christmas on A Great Street. It is opportune that we are bringing our year-long Tourism50 campaign to a meaningful closure by celebrating with our local residents on Singapore's iconic precinct. Through our Tourism50 events and activities this year, we hope local residents have developed a greater appreciation for Singapore tourism and sense of pride for our country as a great place to live, work and play."
To commemorate Tourism50, a nostalgic photo exhibition in front of Shaw House Urban Plaza will be launched in tandem with the Official Light-Up Ceremony on Saturday 15 November 2014. 'Christmas on A Great Street through the years - celebrating Tourism50' captures memories of past Christmas celebrations along Orchard Road since it began in 1984. The exhibition will run till Thursday 1 January 2015.
On Saturday 6 December 2014, visitors can revel in an outdoor festive carnival for the third instalment of 'Pedestrian Night on Orchard Road', a pilot initiative that sees Orchard Road being transformed into a temporary pedestrian street every first Saturday night of each month from October 2014 - March 2015. The event, also organised in celebration of Tourism50, will feature home-grown talents and fun-filled entertainment for all to enjoy right under the magical Christmas lights along Orchard Road.
A GREAT STREET GIVES BACK THIS CHRISTMAS
ORBA has two main avenues of giving back to the less fortunate this Christmas.
As Singapore approaches its 50th year of independence in 2015, ORBA has offered its Christmas set pieces to Community Chest as a fund-raising platform under the latter's 'Care & Share Movement'. For the next six weeks, the logos of corporate entities that have contributed to the Movement will be featured on these set pieces. With the government's pledge to match all donations dollar-for-dollar, this initiative has raised close to SGD 3 million to benefit the social service sector.
ORBA is also raising funds for Community Chest through its annual practice of giving out multi-coloured light sticks to be lit during the official Light-Up Ceremony. More than 100 student volunteers from JIVE (an Interest Group from Republic Polytechnic) will give out multi-coloured light sticks in front of ION Orchard and Mandarin Gallery. Once again, ORBA will support this community effort by pledging a dollar to Community Chest for every light stick given out during this parade for charity.
To share the Yuletide love, JIVE has also created a 'RED Christmas' event to celebrate this special season with the elderly from Redhill Moral Seniors Activity Centre. As part of the event, student volunteers will accompany the elderly on a ride to Orchard Road to view the Christmas decor.
CELEBRATE ON A GREAT STREET
The 'Official Light-Up Ceremony' on Saturday 15 November 2014 is officiated by President Tony Tan Keng Yam. The precinct will be abuzz with music and performances that night. Be serenaded by lovely Christmas carollers from various schools and enjoy performances by hip-hop dancers at Robinsons The Heeren. Jazz bands will also perform in front of Paragon and Palais Renaissance.
Leading up to Christmas Day, catch special performances and activities along Orchard Road from Thursday 18 December - Tuesday 23 December 2014 in celebration of CCIS' 11th anniversary. Catch CCIS' annual mass carolling performance in front of Tong Building from 7pm onwards on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, join in the 'Grand Christmas Concert' on Orchard Road, where the stretch of road from Scotts / Paterson junction to Bideford Road will be closed to vehicular traffic for a mass Christmas celebration.
This year's Christmas on A Great Street is all about psychedelic, starry magic. Be wowed by the colourful, glitzy set pieces specially created for this year's celebrations. Capture moments with your family and friends at these set pieces and share your photos on social media with the hashtag #OrchardRdXmas - the perfect way of sharing the Christmas joy with friends.
BEST DRESSED BUILDING CONTEST 2014
Christmas on Orchard Road is never complete without the visual feast of the malls decked out in the spirit of the season. The 'Best Dressed Building Contest' takes place from Saturday 15 November - Sunday 30 November 2014. To spice things up, there are two top spots - the 'Voters' Choice Award' as well as the 'Judges' Choice Award'.
The public can vote for their favourite mall by downloading Orchard Road's free mobile @Orchard app, available on both iTunes and Google Play. Shopping vouchers worth $3,000 await to be won!
The participating establishments are:
1. Forum The Shopping Mall
2. Grand Park Orchard
3. ION Orchard
4. Mandarin Gallery
5. Ngee Ann City / Takashimaya Shopping Centre
6. Orchard Central
8. Shaw House
9. Tanglin Mall
10. TANGS Orchard
11. The Centrepoint
12. Wisma Atria
CHRISTMAS REWARDS WITH MASTERCARD
Christmas is also the time for gifts and there is no better place to do your gift-hunting than on Orchard Road. From Saturday 15 November 2014, those who charge a minimum of $300 to a MasterCard credit / debit card at participating Orchard Road establishments can receive a $30 shopping voucher. Vouchers can be redeemed with a maximum of five same-day receipts at the same establishment. The promotion is valid while stocks last.
The participating establishments are:
1. [email protected]
2. Forum The Shopping Mall
3. Mandarin Gallery
4. Ngee Ann City / Takashimaya Shopping Centre
5. Orchard Central
6. Palais Renaissance
8. Scotts Square
9. TANGS Orchard
10. The Centrepoint
MASTERCARD PRICELESS REWARDS
Some lucky MasterCard cardholders will also be chauffeur-driven home in style after a satisfying day shopping. From Saturday 20 December - Tuesday 23 December 2014, MasterCard will offer selected shoppers who show a MasterCard same-day charge slip, the Priceless experience of a complimentary limousine ride home from Paragon.
About Orchard Road Business Association
Since 1998, Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA) has represented the interests and welfare of businesses along Orchard Road. Through the creation of activities, business development, promotion and marketing, ORBA preserves, promotes, improves and facilitates businesses on Orchard Road.
A four-member office manages ORBA's day-to-day operations, while an executive committee comprising various stakeholders working pro-bono sets its direction and ensures that the interests of ORBA members are advocated.
ORBA also organises memorable events for visitors and tourists to Orchard Road, such as Christmas on A Great Street, Fashion Steps Out and Rev-Up @ Orchard. Christmas on A Great Street, classed as one of Frommer's World's Best Holiday Lights in 2010; Lonely Planet's Top 10 Christmas Markets of the World in 2011; and IDA Achievements - Merit Award Winner 2012, is an annual signature event that heralds the start of the festive season here in Singapore, which many look forward to as an unforgettable experience.
Membership in ORBA is open to Orchard Road stakeholders, as well as non-stakeholders who have an affiliation to lifestyle business along Orchard Road. There are 109 members in the Association, including the owners and management of shopping malls, departmental stores, leading retailers, hotels and restaurants. In 2013, the Association launched the ORBA Privilege Card, the first precinct-centric employee's privilege initiative in Singapore that aims to benefit members' employees and boost the profiles of Orchard Road businesses.
ORBA operates under the auspices of Singapore Tourism Board (STB) with its administration entrusted to an Executive Committee (EXCO) comprising some of Orchard Road's key stakeholders. The EXCO is headed by Mrs May Sng, Executive Vice-President, Retail Property Management, SPH Ltd (Executive Director of Paragon) as Chairman.
For more information, please visit www.orchardroad.org/christmas or www.facebook.com/orchardroad.sg.
Official hashtag: #OrchardRdXmas