It is the end of the year, and people’s spirits are sky-high as they receive presents for Christmas and get ready to relax as the year ends. For those who want to witness the festivities, especially counting down to the new year, going out to join the crowds may be your thing. For others, staying at home or near home is the way to go. Remember those COVID-19 cases? People’s spirits are not the only thing that is sky-high. Whatever your preference, there is a way for you to celebrate a year's ending and welcome a new one. You can expect some great and bustling celebrations in the heartlands this year. Some of the options even include spectacular fireworks. Whoever said you needed to go to town to have a blast? Here is more about the upcoming end-of-year celebrations around Singapore’s heartlands. Singapore Will Have Celebrations in the Heartlands to Celebrate the New Year In case you haven’t heard, you may stand the chance to catch some fireworks from the windows of your own home. This year, a total of 28 heartland areas will be having community countdown celebrations. The areas include Admiralty, Cambridge, Farrer-Leedon, Mount Faber, Tampines, Paya Lebar, Queenstown, Sengkang, Serangoon, Tanjong Pagar, Sembawang, Boon Lay, Bukit Panjang, Clementi, Eunos, Bedok, Hougang, Kaki Bukit, Keat Hong, MacPherson, Marine Parade, Marsiling, Nee Soon, Punggol, Swiss Club and Toa Payoh. It seems that all these areas are ready and down to party. Did you manage to spot the name of your area in this list? At Toa Payoh, located at the open space between Block 210 and 211 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh, residents should be ready to watch some getai performances and enjoy fringe activities such as bouncy castles and snack booths. That sure sounds like a good time for people of all ages. At Nee Soon, a party will be held at the Futsal Arena @ Yishun where residents in the area can get ready to dance it out to music from radio DJs Jeremy Ratnam and Shu Hui. They can also expect carnival games, food and other exciting performances from home-grown talent such as Annette Lee and Stephen Zechariah. Local band 53A will also be making an appearance. What people might look forward to the most, however, may be the fireworks display in the vicinity. The northies are sure in for a treat. Apart from fireworks at Yishun, Marsiling residents can also get a treat. The NorthBound Fest @ Marsiling will feature fireworks displays as part of the party. This is coupled with a 24-meter-long inflatable playground and local talent performances by DJ Haneri, Lee Pei Fern, Richard Low, and more. Those who want some hands-on activities can instead try making some terrariums, creating an up-cycled terrazzo coaster or making some candles. Sounds fun, right? The fun doesn’t just stop there. Easties who stay near Marine Parade can also watch some fireworks at Block 46 Marine Crescent’s hardcourt. The fireworks come at the end of the day with other entertainment options such as Bollywood dance, balloon sculpting, ring toss, night markets and live performances by local artists. Those who live in Hougang may want to dress a bit more atas if they plan to head down to Hougang Star Nite. Don your best gowns and be prepared to walk down the red carpet and take your photos against a giant backdrop at the entrance. Remember to bring your best Marilyn Monroe moment as you bask in the attention and try to win the best-dressed competition. People are encouraged to attend in their cultural costumes. Who said you can only wear a cultural costume during Racial Harmony Day? For those who are interested in fashion, the Keat Hong Fiesta Countdown to 2024 may be of interest to you. There will be a fashion show featuring “traditional fusion outfits” put together by the Keat Hong CC Women’s Executive Committee (WEC). The highlight of the fashion show is that the outfits are put together with recycled materials. Residents in the Eunos area may want to head down to the Eunos Cultural Centre to enjoy some active activities. For example, there will be a KPopX Fitness Exercise session to work up a sweat and a magic show for the family’s entertainment. While all these sound great, remember that this is Singapore and nothing comes free. The catch to these delightful activities is that some of these countdown parties may be ticketed. To be sure, check with your local community centre (CC) or residential centre (RC) for more details. If the events are ticketed, do remember to get your tickets fast before they run out. We can’t wait for the celebrations already! There Were Similar Celebrations in Past Years The celebrations in the heartlands appear to be a continuation of the past years’ successful runs. Remember the COVID-19 era when gathering in large groups was a big no-no? Celebrations had to be cut. As celebrations slowly returned with the waning of the COVID-19 risk, other scares such as crowd-crushes prevented the festive parties from returning to their pre-COVID-19 levels. However, the celebrations could not be stopped totally as people wanted to go out and bring some cheer into their lives. This led to the celebrations turning to the heartlands and to much fanfare. While some may have been sceptical about the feasibility of spreading out the celebrations, it seems that the past runs were good, and thus the initiative continued into this year. For those who don’t remember, last year saw the “Let’s Celebrate 2022” programme by Mediacorp feature select heartland firework scenes.