Our journey with Chingay began in October 2015 when we were officially invited to be part of the 2016 edition. While the Wheelies don't have the benefit and experience of other contingents that had participated in many editions of Chingay, we do know that participating in an international event like this requires lots of commitments from our volunteers. Besides the numerous rehearsals that the team has to attend and not forgetting the numerous amount of revisions to our sequences, the team leaders will need to be ever present for debriefs after the main rehearsals and shows and we don't normally reached home till 1am in the morning. While it was very time consuming, our hard work didn't went unnoticed as the Wheelies were invited to be part of the pre parade contingent to kick off Chingay 2016 after the team wow the organizers in our first combined rehearsal.
The team started to experience anxiety and insomnia when Chingay drew closer. While we were in high spirits and super pump out after a flawless performance during our full dress combined rehearsal on Thursday, our day didn't started out on the same note when the heavens started to pour about 630pm on performance Day 1. Despite the rain, we still proceeded with our pre parade show. The show went as planned other than a fall by yours truly at Sector C. This goes to show how difficult the condition was out there. While we were reasonably satisfied with this outing, we were starting to worry about the main parade as the rain continued to pound mercilessly. It was so bad that our involvement in performance Day 1 was almost cut short as the torrential rain refused to back down despite our prayers. It came to a point where we had to inform the organizers that we will be sitting out the parade due to safety concerns.
It was definitely a bummer for everyone involved. Flashbacks of our rehearsals kept popping up while we witnessed the other continents moving out of our waiting area. It was not until the final 5 minutes that we decided to go out to perform. This couldn't have happened if not for the persistent efforts of Chermaine, Phelia and Jacob who pleaded with the team be out there. It was during that moment that we finally understand it's now or never. We informed the organizing committee about our reversal in decision and went out in full steam, chasing after the parkour float (the contingent in front of us) that was already moving into the performance area. Thank goodness we all made it. While the crazy weather didn't help as it wasn't easy to ride in wet weather, I am sure everyone did enjoyed themselves and had fun out there. 1 hour of performing a the rain really showed the audience what we are made of. The spirits remained high despite the unforgiving weather. It was truly a memorable experience for everyone and we have shown that we can excelled despite overwhelming odds if we all worked together.
Day 2 started out equally bad as the rain continue to fall non stop. While we were genuinely concerned if it is going to be same as Day 1, we decided to focus in psyching ourselves up instead of worrying as we all thought "we been through the worst and survived and nothing can stand in our way now." Thank goodness the rain stopped at approximately 5.30 pm and the skies began to clear. Aided by the cheering audience, the pre parade team went in with a near perfect performance, delighting everyone who was there to witness our uptown funk sequence. From the thunderous applause we received from the audience, we knew that we had strike a chord with them. Our main parade went on as "plan" too. While the position of the Wheelies meant that we have a disadvantage and will not have any TV airtime, we managed to creatively "steal" some time in front of the President of Republic of Singapore by stopping in from of the stand and showing our best moves in front of your honour even the contingent supposed to move pass. Rest of the show was near perfect too as all of us put out the best performance to the watching crowd. While we might not be the biggest contingent, we can certainly see the amazement from the audience as most of them probably seen an electric unicycle for the first time, let alone a whole group of 40 of us performing on it. We managed to bring out the smile and wow from the audience.
That concludes our adventure in Chingay 2016. I am certain we have successfully raised the profile of electric unicycling in Singapore. This would not be possible without the many sacrifices from each and every of our volunteers who sacrificed those personal time from their family and loves ones to be part of this event. We would like to thank People's Association for giving the Wheelies a chance to be part of the greatest street performance on Earth. I am confident each and everyone of us will remember the tears, the joy and laughter from participating in Chingay and not forgetting the friendship that is built during this period. Everyone has shown the highest level of professionalism and I am honored to performing with all of you.
- Ning, Kirby, Edmund, Kelvin,