Wat-er way to walk

The New Paper, 31 Oct 2008
Big Walk Countdown: 2 days to go

Big weekend for Barrage

WATER AWAY TO WELCOME: Water Wally balloons will greet walkers at the Barrage this weekend, nine of them lining the Marina Bridge.

WATER A WAY TO TELL: (Left) Visitors on the Marina Bridge are briefed about the barrage while students admire the exhibits inside the Barrage’s Sustainable Singapore Gallery.

PICTURES by SIMON KER
simonker@sph.com.sg

THE walk on water will come with some real treats – not least with the water itself.

If the tide is out, participants in The New Paper’s Big Walk may get to watch the crest gates of the majestic Marina Barrage open up to unleash tonnes of water into the sea.

The preview, during low tide on Wednesday, was indeed a sight to behold. At one side of the dam, water looked as though it was being “sucked” in by a giant vacuum. It was released in waves on the other side, like a waterfall.

The Marina Barrage, which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will officially open tonight, will be a hive of activity over the weekend. Besides the official opening and the Big Walk on Water, there will be the Clean and Green Singapore Carnival.

The carnival, which starts tomorrow, is conceptualised with the theme “every little step counts, let’s make a difference”.

Visitors can visit a “mini Singapore town” which has been constructed at the Barrage to teach visitors how they can practise an environmentally friendly lifestyle. The exhibition is free.

Big Walkers on the Barrage

And on Sunday, the biggest mass community event will take place when 20,000 Big Walkers descend on the Barrage.

The Walk, which begins at Suntec City’s Fountain of Wealth, will see participants taking a 5km walk, including a 900m nature trail next to a golf course, to reach the Barrage.

Walkers can also have a family picnic by the bay after redeeming their goodie bags from presenter-sponsor NTUC FairPrice. They can also buy additional snacks and drinks from its Cheers stalls.

The $226 million Barrage was completed in the middle of the year. The opening ceremony will be the result of two months of planning. This week workers put up 20 giant inflatables of Water Wally, the mascot of PUB, the national water agency.

There was also a massive clean-up of the central courtyard fountain. About 140 school children have also been practising for their performances for the opening ceremony there.

And they were taking their rehearsals seriously. When The New Paper tried to take pictures of their rehearsal, a teenage girl issued a stern warning: “Cannot take our photo! Teacher says the performance must be a surprise.”

HOW TO SURVIVE THE BIG WALK

If you are taking part in the Big Walk on Water this Sunday, watch out for the Big Walk Survival Guide in The New Paper tomorrow.

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