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Paisley gets set for Halloween spooktacular


Paisley is gearing up for a spooky entertainment extravaganza at the weekend when the annual Halloween festival once again takes over the town centre.


The hugely popular annual event – run by Renfrewshire Council – is one of only a few of its kind in Scotland and will take place over Friday evening and all-day Saturday.

The first day of fun runs from 6 to 9pm on Friday, starting with a lantern-lit parade down the High Street from the UWS main entrance to Abbey Close, led by the stunning Spark! LED drummers.


Abbey Close itself will be home to a fire garden run by outdoor arts specialists Walk the Plank, featuring fire-breathing sculptures, illuminations and much more.

Paisley Town Hall will be Spook Central, with Halloween arts and crafts, family disco, storytelling, puppet shows and music sessions with Feis Phaislig.

Saturday will see more of the same from 12 until 9pm, but with the addition of a main stage featuring live music from local musicians and dance groups and entertainment from Pulse FM DJs.


Both days will also have a funfair, street entertainers and a great selection of outdoor food vendors.

This will be the third year of the Halloween Festival and kicks off Renfrewshire’s major winter events programme, with the Paisley Fireworks display (Sat 5 Nov) and Christmas Lights Switch-on (Sat 12 Nov) set to follow.

And this year will see a special treat with the world premiere of a new performance by award-winning visual theatre artist Al Seed taking place in Paisley Town Hall’s Loggia room.

Described as a dark gothic melodrama inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Raven, tickets for shows on Wednesday and Thursday are on sale now via www.renfrewshireleisure.com

The show is one of the first to be funded by Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events fund, which aims to boost cultural capacity in the run-up to Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the Paisley Halloween Festival back for another year – it has been a hugely popular family day out with locals and visitors alike since it started in 2014.

“Again, we expect thousands of people to descend on Paisley town centre over the two days, providing an economic boost to the local area and local traders.

“This year’s winter events are extra special as the last ones to take place before the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 goes in next year.

“And with that in mind, we are delighted to welcome critically-acclaimed performer Al Seed to the town for a unique performance made possible by the Paisley 2021 bid.

“But the event is also a great showcase of the talents of the thriving grassroots creative scene we have here in the town.

“That goes from the young people making costumes and starring in the parade, to the many music and dance performers of various ages who will take to the main stage on the Saturday.”

The groups taking part in the weekend include Independent State of Happiness, Right To Dance, Street Stuff, Floor4orce, Solid Rock Cheerleaders and Rock Us Community Choir.

For more information, visit  www.paisley2021.com

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Scouting for Girls to headline Paisley festive extravaganza


Paisley is getting set for a winter festival extravaganza – with triple-platinum-selling popsters Scouting for Girls to headline the town’s annual Christmas lights show.


The Londoners – known for top-10 hits including This Ain’t a Love Song and She’s So Lovely – will play to a crowd of tens of thousands in the town centre on Saturday 12 November before the big switch-on.

The afternoon-long event will also see main-stage slots for two up-and-coming bands from Paisley – the Vegan Leather and Dogtooth.

The fun will get under way at noon with the traditional reindeer parade around the town, led by Santa himself, with a full programme of children’s entertainment during the day before the lights go on at 6pm.

And the big Christmas date is just one of three installments of family festive fun coming up over consecutive weekends.

The town centre will also host a two-day spooktacular when the Paisley Halloween Festival returns for a third year at the end of the month.

That will see a lantern-lit parade through the town centre on the evening of Friday 28 October, with a day of activities, including a spectacular fire garden, on the Saturday.

And Saturday 5 November will see the town’s annual fireworks display, which will this year feature music from the 1960s and 70s as part of a decade-by-decade countdown to 2021 – the year Paisley hopes to be named UK City of Culture.

There will be live music from bands from local groups Brick Lane Studios and Create Paisley on the main stage in Gauze Street from 2pm, before the fireworks display itself at 7pm.

Scouting for Girls said: “We love Christmas, and what better way to get in the spirit than with the good folks of Paisley!

“We are very excited for the lights switch-on and hope to see as many people as possible there on November 12.”

The three festive events are being run by Renfrewshire Council as part of the area’s ever-expanding major events programme. Sponsorship from local organisations is contributing towards the cost of the performers.

And council leader Mark Macmillan said: “Renfrewshire’s major events programme brings tens of thousands of people into our town centres every year, many of them visitors from outside the area.

“Not only does that show off everything Paisley has to offer but it brings an economic boost to town centre traders too.

“This year’s events are particularly important given they are the last set before the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is lodged early next year and the Christmas Lights event marks a year since the bid was launched.

“And the bill reflects that – the Christmas Lights show will put the spotlight on two talented young local bands, while the fireworks display will also have a 2021 theme.”

November will be a busy month for major events, with Johnstone’s Christmas lights switch-on due for Saturday 19 November and Renfrew’s a week later.

At the same time, Renfrewshire will also host top-class sporting action when the European Curling Championships comes to Braehead from 19 to 26 November.

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Paisley lights up during Christmas switch-on


Paisley lit up with an evening of traditional festive fun as the town’s Christmas lights were turned on tonight.

A crowd of several thousand gathered in the area around Abbey Close and Paisley Town Hall to see the big switch-on.


The party got under way at 5pm, with DJs from Pulse FM hosting the stage and introducing acts including RockUs Community Choir, who sang Christmas classics.

Big crowds gathered around Santa and his reindeer – giving youngsters a chance to get their Christmas requests in early.

Other attractions included fairground rides in Abbey Close and County Square, as well as outdoor food stalls, mulled wine and mince pies, and kids’ entertainers.

At 7pm, Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall switched the lights on along with competition winner Alyssa, aged 11, from St Peter’s Primary School

The switch-on had been rearranged from earlier in the month after the original event was cancelled in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, which occurred just hours earlier.

And Provost Hall said: “Given the circumstances and the short timescales involved, an event of the size of the original was never going to be possible.

“But staff deserve credit for being able to arrange a new event in such a short timescale.

“We wanted tonight to be all about traditional Christmas fun for the families – and there was plenty of that on show.

“We knew the people of Paisley would turn out in their numbers to see the lights go on and they certainly did – the kids’ entertainers were popular, as of course, was Santa.

“It’s always good to see the town centre looking so busy – we hold major events here so we can bring people in, with all the benefits that brings for local business.

“As we move forward with the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 we look forward to having loads more going on.”

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Johnstone kicks-off Christmas at lights switch-on party

Johnstone Lights 47

Johnstone got into the Christmas spirit when at the weekend with a day-long party to mark the switch-on of the town’s festive lights.

Huge crowds from the town and beyond turned out to see Houstoun Square lit up with a stunning festive display.

Johnstone Lights 47

During the afternoon, live entertainment and music from local acts on the main stage – hosted by Pulse FM – thrilled the crowds.

Local singer and guitarist Matthew Gibb closed the show with a short set before the Christmas lights went on.

Other musical acts on stage during the day included street dance crew Loonique, talented young singer Angel Gold and young musicians from Johnstone’s Splash Productions and Angela McCallum School of Music.

And there was even a double dose of dancing from DSD Street Dance and the Gillian Whyte Dance School.

The square also hosted plenty to keep kids entertained, with funfair rides, and a special appearance of the Snow Queen and Jack Frost, as well as a marquee featuring hula hooping, balloon modelling and the ever-popular face painting.

Santa’s grotto and Christmas story-telling was held inside Johnstone Town Hall along with retail therapy at the stalls and tea room hosted by St Vincent’s Hospice.

Helping Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall switch on the lights was competition winner Elsie Balfour, aged 11 from Wallace Primary School.

Johnstone Christmas Lights Switch-on – run by Renfrewshire Council – is part of an exciting winter events programme for the area.

Provost Hall said: “The Christmas lights switch-on in Johnstone is always a well-attended family event and it was a pleasure to be in the square once again.

“It was an afternoon filled with family entertainment, both in the Square and inside Johnstone Town Hall.

“The people of Johnstone and the villages always come out in numbers to support the lights switch-on and today was no different.

“It was great to see Houstoun Square looking so busy and I am sure local traders appreciated the boost the event brought them.”

To find out more about events in Renfrewshire, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events.

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Paisley Christmas lights switch-on is rearranged


Paisley will light up on Thursday 26 November when the Christmas Switch-on will showcase traditional festive fun for children.

Renfrewshire Council employees have worked tirelessly to reschedule the event following the sudden postponement on Saturday.


And a new event has been arranged with the youngsters of the area especially in mind.

The event will take place in Abbey Close and Paisley Town Hall and will start at 5pm with the big switch on at 7pm.

Santa will be there along with his reindeer while there will also be music hosted by Pulse FM and carols from RockUs Community Choir.

There will also be outdoor food stalls, mulled wine and mince pies, and children’s entertainment including balloon modellers and face painters.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We received widespread support from the local community for our decision to postpone at the weekend.

“Christmas is a magical time so for the rescheduled event we have gone right back to the spirit of the festive season by ensuring this is a great experience for the kids.

“In this very short space of time, an event on the scale of the original celebrations was obviously not possible.

“But we knew that Paisley would want its switch-on to be fun and to be for the youngsters – so that is exactly what we have produced.

“There is a great programme of festive entertainment laid on which will give local families the chance to come together and celebrate the start of the Christmas period. And I want to thank council employees for pulling out all the stops to deliver this.

“We are looking at running a separate public event to get everyone right behind Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 which last week received overwhelming support from the local area and beyond. This will be some time in the new year so watch this space.”

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Mark Macmillan 1

Paisley has put people at the heart of its bid for UK City of Culture 2021 as plans were unveiled today to place its museum on an international stage and support the local arts and cultural community through an innovative creative fund.

The Scottish textile town which changed the world, today unveiled plans for a £56.7m transformation of its flagship museum and also to create a £500,000 cultural pot for the local community.

Mark Macmillan 1

Paisley’s internationally-significant museum collections, and its one-time place at the heart of the global thread industry, have inspired the plans to turn the town’s museum into a national showcase of textile and design by 2021.

The museum is the flagship project of Renfrewshire’s long-term regeneration plans for the town. They include:

  • £56.7m plans to transform the museum.
  • a £3.7m world class museum store to support an internationally-significant museum and open up access to all of the museum collections for education and research in the heart of the town centre – a first for the UK.
  • £2.7m earmarked to support investment in developing Paisley’s lending library service.
  • a new £500,000 culture, heritage and event fund to tap into the town’s creative potential.

Visitor numbers to the museum could triple to hit 150,000 with almost 250 jobs created and up to £88m generated for the local economy as a result of the cultural and economic regeneration brought about by the museum transformation alone. They will support Renfrewshire Council’s wider economic, social and cultural regeneration strategy.

The plans were unveiled to coincide with a two-day event to officially launch Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

On Friday 13 November, bid ambassadors joined forces at Paisley’s 850-year old Abbey to issue a rallying call to Renfrewshire and beyond to support the bid.

The town will then host a massive public party on Saturday 14 November with an appeal to revellers to wear the world-famous Paisley Pattern for the Christmas lights switch-on event, topped off by a spectacular seven-minute Paisley-themed light show projected against the Abbey.

A social media campaign to back the bid using #Paisley2021 has started and a new website at www.paisley2021.co.uk goes live today to rally public support.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council and Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board said: “We’re putting people right at the heart of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture and our new £500,000 creative fund will help them develop and participate in high-quality cultural events supporting our ambitions.

“From the local arts and cultural community, to professional artists and individuals, the fund will help every part of Renfrewshire realise its creative potential between now and 2021.

“Paisley was once at the heart of the global textile industry and by connecting that heritage to the future through a new transformed museum, we aim to bring the world to Paisley.

“The museum will become the cultural, social and economic heart of the town. It will be transformed for tourists and local families alike, and be the base for extensive community outreach supporting weaving, natural history, science and nature.

“By forging links with national museums and international institutions, local art groups and academic partners, we want to put Paisley at the heart of the world’s cultural map.”

The proposals are due to be considered by the council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board next week.

He added: “The museum store will be a new anchor destination at the opposite end of the High Street from the museum to boost visitor footfall between the two.

“These plans have also brought the chance to re-imagine the library currently based in the museum complex. Library services are changing. Paisley Central Library serves more offline households than any other in the country from its public computers – so we’ll ask local people what they want from a modern facility in the heart of the town.

“Through a planned financial programme Renfrewshire Council has been able to proactively identify vital funds to deliver the regeneration of Paisley and has committed £22m to develop and promote Paisley as a destination town. The plans we announce today show where we intend to invest much of that resource.

“This is a major, long-term programme that will need wider support generated by a major fundraising effort.”

Bid ambassadors who joined Councillor Macmillan at Paisley Abbey on Friday 13 November have outlined why they believe Paisley should be UK City of Culture 2021.

David Wallace is Executive Director of PACE Youth Theatre – the largest of its kind in the UK with former pupils including Paolo Nutini and James McAvoy. He said: “Arts and culture play a huge role in achieving our social and economic goals through local regeneration, attracting tourists, developing talent, improving health and wellbeing and, just as importantly, changing the perception of a place and its community. Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is our vehicle for change and all Buddies are on board.”

Bob Davidson, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help Paisley become the great place it deserves to be – great for all businesses, their employees and their customers. Having been in Paisley for over 50 years, the Chamber fully supports the Paisley 2021 bid and encourages businesses and organisations of all sizes and sectors to do the same.”

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Saturday 14th November – Gates Open 6:30pm


Paisley Rugby Club are proud to announce the Annual Fireworks Display will take place on Saturday 14th November – gates open at 6.30pm.

Admission :
Adult £4
Under 17 £ 2.50
Under 5 £ free…
Family of 4 (2 adults & 2 kids) £12

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Paisley fireworks light up Paisley Abbey


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]What a fantastic night in Paisley once again with a splendid display of fireworks. We will over the coming days upload lots of photographs from the display.

The first set of photographs sent in are taken by Scottish Photography Productions and show Paisley Abbey looking splendid under the light of the fireworks.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_gallery ids=”27831,27832,27833,27834,27835,27836,27837″ columns=”2″ indents=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Check back soon for lots more photographs from events in and around Paisley.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Santa’s free doughnuts feast at mall’s Christmas lights switch on

04/11/15..INTU BREAHEAD.Ahead of the xmas light switch on

THE intu Braehead shopping centre has organised a Christmas lights switch on that shoppers just doughnut want to miss.

And it means Santa is coming early for fans of the world-famous Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

04/11/15..INTU BREAHEAD.Ahead of the xmas light switch on

The mall has teamed up with the makers of the tasty treat who will delight the first 700 people who turn up for the big event Friday, November 6th from 4.30pm with a dozen of their signature Original Glazed doughnuts.

The amazing free doughnuts offer comes only days after it was announced Krispy Kreme is to open a new Hotlight store next door to intu Braehead, on Wednesday, December 2 at 7am.
And as the lucky shoppers munch into their doughnuts, they can enjoy an evening of free entertainment climaxing in the Big Switch On of the mall’s dazzling Christmas lights.

Hosted by Britain’s Got Talent star, Edward Reid, topping the bill is the hugely successful boy band 5ive, who have sold 1.5 million albums, two million singles in the UK alone and have won a host of top music awards during the band’s career.

Also singing for fans will be the ever-popular X Factor finalist, Nicky McDonald along with fellow-Scots boy band, Rewind; heart-throb singer Michael Sutthakorn, from Belfast and Ryan Alexander.

There will also be fun and frolics for the kids from Fun Box and stars of the Braehead Clan will also join Santa on stage.

The event starts with a screening of The Snowman, on the giant TV in the central atrium at 4.30pm and the live entertainment begins at 5pm with the lights being switched on at 7pm.
Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “What a fantastic way to start Christmas with our amazing offer of a dozen free doughnuts for a lucky 700 shoppers.
“It’s a big Christmas thank you to all our shoppers for coming along to our Big Switch On.

“We’ve a fabulous line-up of acts to entertain everyone – young and old.

04/11/15..INTU BREAHEAD.Ahead of the xmas light switch on

“Make sure you come early, so you don’t miss the fun…or the free Krispy Kreme doughnuts.”
And the party doesn’t stop once the lights go on, as over at Soar at intu Braehead from 8pm buskers will be having a festive sing-along under a giant Christmas tree.

From 2pm tomorrow (Friday) The Snowman will also be making personal appearances in Soar throughout the afternoon.
Santa’s Elves will also be ready to swing open the doors of intu Braehead’s magical Santa’s Grotto on Friday morning when youngsters can meet Santa Claus and tell him what they want for Christmas.