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Countdown is on to Sma’ Shot Day celebration

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Paisley’s annual celebration of the town’s unique textile heritage is back for another year and is gearing up to be even bigger and better than ever.

Sma’ Shot Day – one of the oldest workers’ festivals in the world – will return for another day-long entertainment extravaganza on Saturday 4 July.

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The day will kick off at noon with the traditional historic parade from Brodie Park to Abbey Close, which this year will be even better than ever.

Outdoor arts specialists Walk the Plank are on board to animate the parade and help tell the story of how the town’s weavers won a 19th-century industrial dispute.

Abbey Close will be a hub of activity from noon to 5pm, with attractions including live music from Create Paisley and theatre from PACE on stage, outdoor stalls and funfair, giant games and inflatables.

There will also be an outdoor food market as well as the Slug in a Bottle market with a mix of vintage items and craft and design, before the daytime events end with the traditional Burning of the Cork.Sma Shot 05 (1)

There will also be a tea dance in Paisley Town Hall from 1 to 3pm, with free tickets available now Paisley Arts Centre.

And for the first time there will be an evening programme in Paisley Arts Centre from 7.30pm, featuring a Sma’ Shot Bigshot poetry slam, and a showcase of the 2020 film project run by the youth group Create Paisley.

Anybody who wants to take part in the parade still has the opportunity – with two creative camps set to take place this weekend (27 and 28 June) at Thomas Coats Memorial Church from 10am to 2pm and 2pm to 6pm.

The free-to-attend workshops will give those taking part the chance to make their own costumes and props for the parade, and to book your place, email towncentres@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Provost Anne Hall, who will be at the head of the parade on the day alongside local community activist Tony Lawler, who traditionally carries the Charleston Drum, said: “Sma’ Shot Day is always a highlight in the area’s summer events calendar.

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“It’s always a fun and well-attended family day out and I am looking forward to getting out and about on the day and meeting people.

“The day is utterly unique to Paisley and celebrates an important part of our history as the one-time centre of the world’s textile industry.

“Celebrating that heritage will be a crucial part of the town’s upcoming bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021.”

Residents and visitors can also visit the Sma’ Shot Cottages in Shuttle Street between noon and 4pm.

Volunteers will be in period costume and will conduct guided tours, and the tearoom will be open for lunch, tea and coffee.

Sma’ Shot Day celebrate the town’s proud textile history by marking the victory of Paisley’s weavers in an industrial dispute of the 19th century.

The weavers didn’t receive payment for the Sma’ (small) Shot thread, which was unseen but held together the famous Paisley-patterned cashmere shawls.

A long fight and political battle ensued which the weavers eventually won and renamed the traditional July holiday Sma’ Shot Day.