, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Almost 25,000 turn out for Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-on

Almost 25,000 festive revellers turned out for Paisley’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-On, as the town prepares to hear whether it will be named UK City of Culture 2021 next month.

Headliners were Northern Irish rockers Ash, who marked the start of the festive season with a performance of hit after hit that thrilled the assembled crowds.

The switch-on is the latest event in Paisley’s Winter Events season, itself part of a wider programme in the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

Festive fun seekers enjoyed a host of free family entertainment earlier in the day, including the famous Reindeer Parade down High Street.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron pressed the button to light up the town, assisted by lucky schools competition winner, 10-year-old Aleena Albin, from St Peter’s Primary School, who designed a winning Christmas card.

Provost Cameron said: “It’s great to get out and about and see so many of the community – especially young people enjoying one of the biggest events of the year. Our festive events are always really special and memorable, and this year’s was no exception.”

An energetic performance from Children’s Classic Concert got young music lovers moving before headliners Ash took to the stage for the main event.

The band showcased a string of hits including Shining Light, Girl from Mars and A Life Less Ordinary, before snow cannons blasted confetti across the crowd.

Clyde 1 favourites, Callum Gallacher, Greigsy Grant Thomson, Amber, George Bowie and Cassi also added to the seasonal atmosphere by playing Christmas classics from the main stage

At Paisley Abbey, festive shoppers snapped up the perfect gifts from the Slug in a Bottle Christmas Market  while the merry Massaoke band played Christmas favourites with the words displayed on giant screens.

Paisley has been shortlisted for the UK City of Culture title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, with a decision expected in December.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “With a decision on the UK City of Culture title expected within weeks it’s great to see so many people flocking to our unique town centre to enjoy one of the biggest and most popular occasions on our Winter Events calendar.

“It’s also a reminder of how the town is able to host major events such as this latest one.”

Paisley is also gearing up to host the four week WinterFest Christmas spectacular from next week, with plans for an ice rink, a panoramic Star Flyer ride and a Continental style market.

Hosted by local business improvement district Paisley First, the plans also include a free festive Nutcracker Trail with 10 nutcracker kings spread throughout the town, from Saturday 2 December until Saturday 16 December.

For more information on Paisley’s bid, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thousands expected for Paisley’s Christmas Lights Switch On

Northern Irish rockers Ash will mark the start of Paisley’s festive season with a headline performance at the annual Christmas Lights Switch On.

Thousands are expected to head to the town centre on Saturday, November 18th to enjoy a host of free family fun, including the famous Reindeer Parade.

The switch on is the latest event in Paisley’s winter season, itself part of a wider programme in the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron will press the button to light up the town, assisted by lucky schools competition winner, 10-year-old Aleena Albin, from St Peter’s Primary School.

Santa and his helpers will lead the procession down High Street at 1.30pm, before he opens his grotto at the Paisley Centre.

A performance from Children’s Classic Concert will provide a seasonal soundtrack from 2.30pm, with audience participation a must.

Twice-voted best music act at the Edinburgh Fringe, percussion superstars Owen and OIly, shake up your idea of classical music with a high-energy family concert.

Music headliners Ash will take to the Live Stage at 5.15pm for a performance before the town’s festive countdown officially starts with the annual Christmas Lights Switch On at 6pm.

With 18 Top 40 singles including ‘The Girl from Mars’ and ‘Shining Light’ under their belt, the band, who first found fame as teenagers in the nineties, still know how to start a party.

Clyde 1 favourites, Callum Gallacher, Greigsy Grant Thomson, Amber, George Bowie and Cassi will be adding to the festive fun by spinning Christmas classics from the main stage.

At Paisley Abbey, festive shoppers can explore the Slug in a Bottle Christmas Market from 1pm, with over 30 stalls to search out the perfect gifts. Face painting and storytelling are among the family fun also on offer. An interactive snow globe in will be in Abbey Close for festive photo opportunities.

Revellers will find it hard to resist embracing the festive atmosphere and singing along with the merry Massaoke band as they play Christmas favourites with the words displayed on giant screens.

Paisley has been shortlisted for the UK City of Culture title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, with a decision expected in December.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “This year’s Christmas Lights Switch On is bigger and better than ever and will bring thousands of people into the town centre which is great for business.

“As we bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 it’s great to show that we can host events on this scale. A winning bid would mean Paisley town centre would be hosting big events similar to this one every weekend.”

Paisley is also gearing up to host a four week Christmas spectacular in the town from November 24th, with plans, subject to approvals, for an ice rink, a panoramic Star Flyer ride and a Continental style market.

Hosted by Paisley First, Winter Fest also include a free festive Nutcracker Trail with 10 nutcracker kings spread throughout the town, from Saturday 2nd December until Saturday 16th December.

For more information and timings on the Paisley Christmas Lights Switch on go to:http://www.paisley2021.co.uk/paisleys-winter-festival/paisley-christmas-lights/#whats-on-4826

The event means there will be a series of road closures around the town centre from 12.01am on Saturday morning, including parts of Gauze Street, St Mirren Street, Cotton Street, Lawn Street and Smithhills Street.

County Place, Gilmour Street, High Street and Abbey Close will close from 8am on Saturday morning until after the event.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paisley celebrates two-year anniversary of UK City of Culture 2021 bid launch

In the two years since Paisley launched its bid to be crowned UK City of Culture 2021, the town has discovered a new found optimism and confidence.

Paisley was shortlisted for the title in July, along with Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea. A decision by competition organisers the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is expected next month.

Since the town officially declared its title ambitions at Paisley Abbey on November 13, 2015, as part of a wider plan to transform the area, more than 34,000 people have been involved in the conversation around the bid.

Paisley Fireworks 4.11.17

Paisley’s popular events calendar has seen a marked increase of over 34,000 visitor numbers in 2017 so far – with a number of fantastic events still to take place in the town before the end of the year. The town’s major events have also seen a 37% increase in visitors from out with Renfrewshire.

Sharon McAulay from the award winning Paisley-based community initiative, the STAR Project, said: “The impact of the bid so far has been huge.

“When we were shortlisted attitudes literally changed overnight. People believe that we can actually do this, that Paisley is so much more than a bunch of negative statistics.

Diageo are backing the Paisley 2021 bid with special johnnie walker bottles pic shows gavin and Jean

“This bid is a real opportunity for us to show the world that Paisley is ready to be put back on the map.

“Our members have been talking about how winning will not just benefit them, but also their children and their children’s children too, so there is a real sense of future change and opportunity for all.”

More than 200 local businesses and a raft of sponsors have also backed the bid. Companies with international links including Glasgow Airport, drinks giants Diageo and Chivas Brothers have pledged funding totalling £260,000 if Paisley wins the title in December.

Major milestones have included the town hosting the British Pipe Band Championships, with Paisley also welcoming the Royal National Mod in either 2021 or 2022.

Home grown star Paolo Nutini hosted a triumphant homecoming concert at Paisley Abbey in October as part of this year’s annual Spree Festival.

Local dance company Right 2 Dance brought internationally renowned choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures & Re:Bourne company to Paisley to deliver a week-long series of workshops and work with young people in the town.

School children from across Renfrewshire also set a new world record for the largest ever architecture lesson. Using coding game Minecraft, 406 pupils from eight local primary schools were guided through a history of Paisley’s architecture and learned how to create buildings using code.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “Paisley’s connections throughout the UK and the rest of the world have continued to grow and grow in the two years since the bid was launched. We have seen Paisley designers showcase their work at London Craft Week and reach new markets from their base in the town.

“There have also been a number of international link-ups, including the opening concert of this year’s Spree arts festival which twinned with the Rajasthan International Folk Festival in India.

“We have initiated cultural conversations at Westminster and thanks to our £1m Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, the local creative scene is benefitting from new national partnerships.

“Launching the bid has generated a positive outlook for the future in the town and surrounding areas. Hosting the title could also create the equivalent of 4,700 jobs over ten years and provide a £175m economic boost to the local economy.

“We have so much to offer and winning the title will show why Paisley matters, not just to Scotland, but to the UK and the world.”

The Paisley 2021 campaign has also helped boost the town’s global links – and even to outer space when a patch of the Paisley Pattern was sent on board a rocket bound for the International Space Station in July 2016.

Alan McNiven, the CEO of community group Engage Renfrewshire, said: “The bid for Paisley to be City of Culture 2021 has created an atmosphere of energised excitement – and that energy has created countless amazing, emotional moments over the last two years.

“The Paisley 2021 movement has provided fantastic opportunities for local engagement and we’ve heard thousands of Paisley voices describing their enthusiastic support for the UK City of Culture 2021 campaign.

“It has captured the community’s growing confidence in a brighter future for Paisley. “

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thousands turn out for Paisley Fireworks spectacular

Thousands turned out to enjoy a dazzling display as Paisley’s annual fireworks spectacular went off with a bang this weekend.

The town’s historic skyline lit up in the extravaganza which delighted the gathered crowds of more than 25,000 when it burst into life on Saturday night, accompanied by an 80s soundtrack.

The themed event took place as part of Paisley’s Winter Festival as the town bids to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

Each of the town’s rivals – Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea – were given a surprise musical shout outs across the day.

The soundtrack to the display itself referenced Sunderland with ‘Sweet Dreams’ by the Eurythmics in celebration of the duo’s Dave Stewart, who hails from the city.

Stoke’s musical heritage was marked with ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns N’ Roses from 1987 in honour of guitarist Slash who was born in the city and spent his formative years there, while ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ from Bonnie Tyler was the musical nod given to Swansea. ‘One Step Beyond’ by Madness marked Coventry’s moment to celebrate its’ links with ska music and Paisley’s own musical heritage was celebrated with local star Kelly Marie’s 1980 hit, ‘Feels Like I’m in Love.’

Radio Clyde DJs Callum Gallacher and Grant & Amber earlier added to the musical fun, with George Bowie & Cassi also playing 80s classics leading up to the dazzling display, introduced by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.

Earlier in the day revellers enjoyed a host of 80s themed free family fun, including a silent disco, kids workshops and retro arcade games.

Remode Redesign ran fabric print workshops using a range of 80s games themed wooden blocks, while a silent disco saw two sets of music fans of all ages dance to different soundtracks through headsets.

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is part of a wider push to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural story to transform the whole of the Renfrewshire area.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “This year’s display was nothing short of spectacular and it was great to see so many of the community come into the town centre to enjoy it.

“Seeing the fireworks against the back drop of Paisley Abbey really is something special and as we bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021 it’s a great reminder of how Paisley is capable of staging events such as this one.

“We were also delighted to pay special tributes to our fellow UK City of Culture 2021 rivals with a musical shout out at one of our biggest annual events.

“It seemed fitting to give a nod to them all – and to also mark our own home grown musical talent.”

The fireworks display follows the Halloween festival and parade in the town centre and precedes the Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On on November 18.

To hear the spectacular 80s fireworks soundtrack by DJ Gerry Lyons go to:  Fire 2017 Wav 16bit by gerry lyons

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photographs of Paisley Fireworks Display 2017

Photographs of Paisley Fireworks Display 2017. Thousand’s turned up to tonight’s event. Paisley was packed and the 80’s music went down a storm with families with the kids being stunned by the powerful display held at the heart of Paisley’s Historic centre.

The photographs above were taken by Ian McDonald Photography and kindly allowed for use on www.paisley.org.uk

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HALLOWEEN PARADE THIS SAT – NEW ROUTE FOR 2017!

Our spectacular Halloween Parade is always a festival highlight!
With a Fire Monster on a Paisley Chariot, the Spark! Drummers, LED lanterns, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners Band and lots more colourful participants, this is one not to be missed.

Parade route: New Street – Causeyside Street – St Mirren Brae – Gauze Street- Cotton Street

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paolo Nutini backs Paisley 2021 culture bid at massive event

Paisley’s musical megastar Paolo Nutini has thrown his weight behind his home town’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

paolo-paisley-2021-2

The singer today declared his support during a surprise video message broadcast to a delighted crowd of 30,000 at the town’s Christmas Light Switch-on event, which coincided with the first anniversary of the bid launch.

Paolo – who was brought up in Paisley and still has a home there – told the crowd of his pride in the town and why he was backing Paisley’s culture ambitions.

paolo-paisley-2021-3

He said: “I’m backing the bid because Paisley is and always has been my home. I love the town and want to see it grow.

“It’s a town that needs the investment, but it knows what it’s going to do with that investment and I think the potential is really clear.

“I see the romance of the town – when you walk into the centre it’s got a beautiful composition.

“The bid is about building a structure that can tackle the more deep-rooted problems and it’s important we get behind that.

“There’s already a new lease of life being brought into the town…I’m backing the bid so please go on the website, push the button, and do the same.”

The annual Christmas Lights event included a special Paisley-themed projection on to the side of Paisley’s 850-year-old Abbey asking residents to back the bid.

The main stage in the town centre was headlined by triple-platinum-selling popsters Scouting for Girls, who were joined by up-and-coming Paisley bands the Vegan Leather and Dogtooth, as well as kids favourites Funbox.

Other activities during the afternoon-long event include a reindeer parade, outdoor snow slope and funfair.

The event was organised by Renfrewshire Council and the lights were switched on by Provost Anne Hall, joined by young competition winner Phoebe of Williamsburgh Primary.

The bid is being taken forward by a partnership of local organisations, many of whom were showing their support during the day on social media using #WeArePaisley.

Residents and visitors alike were also invited to back the bid by pushing a specially-created button on the paisley2021.co.uk website.

paolo-paisley-2021-1

The Renfrewshire town is bidding for the national title as part of wider plans to use its unique cultural heritage and thriving contemporary creative scene to create long-lasting economic, social and cultural change.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Renfrewshire Council Leader and chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, said: “Today’s event was all about people of the town having the chance to say We Are Paisley.

“So we are delighted that Paolo – as one of the town’s best-known cultural figures – was able to tell the crowd in his own words why he is backing the bid.

“The Christmas Lights Switch-on always brings tens of thousands of people into the town anyway, and given the anniversary fell on the same weekend there was no better chance for a mass show of support for Paisley 2021.

“The UK City of Culture title goes to a town which can show the UK Government judges that it has a plan to use the title to make a real difference to the area and the people who love there.

“Today we sent a message that not only does Paisley want the title, but it has the capacity to pull off the big events it will involve.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paisley 2021 bid to be marked at Xmas extravaganza

Paisley is gearing up for a double celebration at the weekend – when the first birthday of the town’s bid for UK City of Culture falls as tens of thousands descend for the annual Christmas lights switch-on.

crowd shot from the 2014 Christmas Lights Switch-on

crowd shot from the 2014 Christmas Lights Switch-on

The Paisley 2021 bid was officially launched a year ago and will be a key feature throughout a day of free-to-attend festive family fun in the town centre, this year headlined by triple-platinum-selling popsters Scouting for Girls.

Scouting for Girls

Scouting for Girls

The Christmas lights are due to be switched on shortly after 6pm – and this year will be immediately preceded by a spectacular Paisley-themed 3D light show projected on to the Gauze St side of Paisley Abbey.

The not-to-be-missed projections will show off the past year’s activity on the bid, while asking residents and visitors to back Paisley’s ambitions before the bid is lodged next spring.

The Christmas extravaganza gets under way at noon with the annual reindeer parade, featuring Santa himself and sponsored by the Paisley Centre.

The parade will last around an hour and follows a new route, starting and finishing on the High Street and covering St Mirren Street, Orchard Street and Abbey Close.

Capital FM DJs including Des Clarke will then get the party started on the main stage in Gauze Street from 1pm.

That will see shows by kids’ favourites Funbox (1.30pm) and up-and-coming Paisley bands Dogtooth (2.30pm) and the Vegan Leather (4pm) before Scouting for Girls take to the stage at 5.25pm after a special Christmas singalong for the crowd,

Other activities include a snow beach and toboggan slide in Dunn Square, craft market and Accord Hospice tea room in Paisley Town Hall and funfair in County Square.

The cost of the performers is being partly met by sponsors intu Braehead, the Paisley Centre, Invest in Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire Leisure and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

The event is organised by Renfrewshire Council, and council leader Mark Macmillan said: “The Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-on always attracts a massive crowd into the town centre – but the Paisley 2021 element will make this one extra special.

“With that in mind, it is great to see two local acts who are making a name for themselves get to play before thousands on the main stage – the area has a thriving grassroots musical scene and we want to show that off.

“And the Paisley-themed 3D light show on the side of the Abbey will be a perfect way to round off the first year of the bid.

“UK City of Culture tends to go to a place which can show it needs and wants the bid and has clear plan to use the title to transform its fortunes – which Paisley does.

“A mass show of support on Saturday would help show the judges how serious we are, while letting everybody see Paisley knows how to throw a party!”

Residents and visitors should be aware there will be road closures throughout the town centre on Saturday which will impact on bus routes. See www.mcgillsbuses.co.uk for more info.

Parking is free in all council-metered bays and car parks every weekend and there will also be free event parking at West College Scotland, Castlehead High and Paisley Grammar.

More information on the day is available at www.paisley2021.co.uk

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paisley skyline sees an explosion of colour

Thousands of revellers saw Paisley’s historic skyline bathed in colour as the annual fireworks extravaganza returned on Saturday.

photos courtesy of Anna Koufogianni on behalf of www.paisley.org.uk

photos courtesy of Anna Koufogianni on behalf of www.paisley.org.uk

Almost 30,000 people descended on the town centre for the annual Fireworks Spectacular- hosted by Renfrewshire Council- as part of an afternoon full of family fun and activities.

The magnificent Paisley Abbey provided a stunning backdrop as crowds filled the streets around Abbey Close to get the best view of the outstanding display.

14963176_10155374378057786_1767423383476517723_n

The fireworks were launched from the roof of the council building on Cotton Street and came at the end of a packed day of entertainment in the town centre.

Hosted by the Captial FM DJs, the stage in Abbey Close featured a variety of local bands including The Turkey Nuts, Start, Kong and The Vanities.

Also putting on a performance were musicians Sam Holloway, Lisa Kowalski, Rachelle and Brittany Davies and Andrew Quinn- while Gerry Lyons kept the crowd entertained with a 60s and 70s DJ set specially mixed and choreographed for the fireworks display.

14915364_10155374378402786_3602277217504514975_n

During the afternoon, families and kids enjoyed free activities Paisley Town Hall as part of an exciting programme of entertainment.

Paisley Fireworks Spectacular is part of the push towards Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and is one of many events in an exciting winter events programme, with the Paisley Christmas Lights following on Saturday 12 November- headlined this year by triple-platinum selling band Scouting for Girls.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people coming into Paisley town centre for one of the flagship events of our winter programme.

“We’re working hard to regenerate Paisley and events such as this bring fantastic footfall into the area and give a boost to the local economy.

“The fireworks were once again a magnificent spectacle and topped off a fantastic family-orientated day.”

The fireworks event was sponsored by the Paisley Centre, Intu Braehead, Renfrewshire Leisure and Invest in Renfrewshire.

For more information on future Renfrewshire events, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stay safe and know the risks on Bonfire Night

Residents are being urged to stay safe this bonfire night and recognise the danger fireworks can pose if handled incorrectly.

fireworks-161

 

Attending a public display is the safest way to enjoy the celebrations but if people are planning their own fireworks it is important that advice is sought to prevent accidents.

If you are having a private fireworks display, residents are urged to be considerate of their neighbours by informing them in advance so they can be prepared.

Fireworks should be used one at a time and should be pointed in the opposite direction to any spectators. It is also important not to return to a firework once it has been lit, even if it appears to have gone out.

Sparklers may seem harmless but they can get five times hotter than cooking oil and should only be used at arm’s length and with gloves- especially in the vicinity or children.

If a burn occurs then it should be run under cold water for at least 10 minutes to completely cool the skin which will prevent pain, scarring or further damage. Once cooled, cover the burn with cling film or a plastic bag.

It is also important to recognise the distress that fireworks can cause pets during this period and precautions should be put in place to make them as comfortable as possible.

Keeping pets inside at all times, masking the noise of the fireworks with TV or music, and providing a safe place to hide at all times will all help keep pets calm during the

Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “Safety is paramount when it comes to fireworks so it is important people know how to handle them correctly to prevent injury.

“Attending a public event, such as Paisley’s fireworks display, is the safest way to have an enjoyable night without any risk and we would encourage people to consider this before having their own.

“If you are having a private fireworks display, please make sure you seek health and safety advice in advance so you are prepared for any scenario.”

For more information on fireworks safety visit:  http://www.saferfireworks.com/

Paisley will host a fireworks event in the town centre on Saturday 5 November, with family entertainment from 2pm in the run up to the display which takes place at 7pm.

Find out more about the event via: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events