The month-long SHINE Youth Festival kicks off with a costume parade to start the festivities.
Contributed By Gideon Foo
| PHOTO COURTESY OF SHINE YOUTH FESTIVAL|
The annual SHINE Youth Festival was launched on July 3 in conjunction with COSMO Youth Parade 2010. The highlight of the event, a public mascot costume parade down Orchard Road showcased a variety of iconic characters from popular culture, drawing from Japanese anime, console games and movies. Into its sixth year, SHINE Youth Festival 2010 is a month-long event aimed at developing the talents and skills of youth, encouraging them to be engaged in community projects. This year’s tagline, “Enough Talk, Just Do,” is a call to arms for youth to take action for their passion. Mr. Teo Ser Luck, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and the chairman of the National Youth Council, graced the event, which was organized by NYC and supported by MCYS.
The parade began with a ribbon cutting ceremony with key representatives from SHINE Youth Festival’s four marquee partners: Mascot Parade, O School, Singapore Street Festival and Singapore Management University. The atmosphere was highly charged; camera flashes were going off everywhere and the pounding of drums resonated in the evening air. A lion dance troop led the way as the parade made its round from *SCAPE to Cathay Cineleisure and Mandarin Gallery. Curious onlookers surrounded the paraders and took the chance to get up close. Many even took photos with the cosplay (short for “costume play”) characters and mascots. Some costumes were impressive—a cardboard-suited Gundam Robot, a warlock and mage duo from popular computer game Warcraft, the character Cactus from the Japanese game series Final Fantasy, and even a pair of Predators.
Enthralled by the vibrant and colorful display of iconic characters, student Tan Say Yong, 19, said, “I am an anime fan. It’s cool to take photos with them.” Johnny Yeo, an IT consultant passing by, said, “This is the first time I’ve seen so many people in different costumes walking down Orchard Road. I like the one in the dragon suit.”
There was also a COSMO costume competition earlier that day. Each contestant was given 30 seconds on stage to impress both the judges and voters in four categories: anime and manga, comics and cartoons, PC and console games, and lastly, movies and TV shows. Costumes were expected to closely follow the attire won by the characters portrayed and many were made by the fans themselves. Cosplayers were also expected to match their character’s mannerisms and body language.
“It’s fun! I definitely enjoyed myself. How often do you get the chance to walk around Orchard in these suits!” exclaimed Gary Lim, who was dressed up as a Predator. Famous Filipino cosplayers Alodia and Ashley Gosiengfiao also made a special appearance. Other impressive sights included a spectacular display of completed Gundam model kits at the Gundam Showcase, where fans were seen working on their own Gundam models.
The Moe Moe Kyun Maid Café recreated its quaint brand of dining experience with waitstaff dressed in cute-sy French maid costumes, while the Bushiroad Card Game Tournament pitted opponents in an anime trading card game and there were friendly teachers around to teach a variety of popular trading card game systems like WeiB Schwarz, Alice X Cross, and CHAOS. Rock band Monochrome captivated the audience with their rock anthems and ballads, while Bakus Rockers wooed audiences with their spicy B-boy dance moves.
On the community engagement front, SHINE provides grants to youth projects which meet the objectives of the Festival. Projects from formal societies can receive up to 50 percent funding, or S$20,000, while those from informal groups can receive up to 80 percent or S$3,000.