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Johnstone gets set for Christmas lights switch-on

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Johnstone is lining up a festival of festive fun at the weekend when the town’s Christmas lights are turned on in the town centre.

Saturday will see an afternoon-long party in Houstoun Square with live entertainment on the main stage from noon to 5pm.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall will be joined on stage by a competition winner from a local school to turn on the lights at 4.30pm.

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The square will host funfair rides, Santa’s grotto, stalls and a tea room hosted by St Vincent’s Hospice, as well as a marquee featuring face-painters, Stevo the Clown and circus workshops.

DJs from Renfrewshire-based online radio station Sugar Radio will be providing the tunes on the main stage, with ten different music and dance acts to perform.

The highlight will be boyband 4th State, who will close the show after the lights have been switched on, with a number of other local performers on during the day.

The acts are: Jump Dance group, Splash Productions, DSD Street Dance, Per4mance Stage School, Lewis Irons (singer), Johnstone Community Dance group, Clyde (three-piece band), Mel & Em (singers), Echo (girl band) and 4th State.

For more information, including a full timetable of entertainment on the day, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events

The lights switch-on is organised by Renfrewshire Council as part of its town centre events programme.

Provost Hall said: “After successful and well-attended lights switch-ons over the past two Saturdays in Paisley and Renfrew I am pleased to be heading to Johnstone next.

“The event is always popular family day out for people in the town and the surrounding villages and the line-up this year should attract another big crowd.

“Holding the event in the main town square helps bring a benefit to local traders, and follows the successful Fire Engine Rally, which we held in Johnstone for the first time back in August.

“One of the perks of the job is having the chance to get out and about and meet people at these family events, and I look forward to doing that on Saturday.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Union J set to lead Paisley Christmas party

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Paisley is gearing up for a fantastic festive party in the town centre when chart-topping boyband Union J lead the bill at the annual Christmas Lights Switch-on.

The Xmas extravaganza – set to attract a crowd of tens of thousands – takes place on Saturday 15 November and will see a full day of entertainment in the town centre.

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The fun starts at noon with the annual reindeer parade, led by Santa himself, before Clyde 1 DJs get the fun under way on the main stage in Gauze Street at 1pm.

Acts set to appear during the afternoon include children’s entertainers The Singing Kettle at 1.30pm, with the much-loved group on their farewell tour.

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Next up at 3.30pm are Glasgow’s electropop sensations Prides, who have had a momentous 2014, including an appearance in front of a worldwide audience of hundreds of millions at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

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And the headline act will be Union J, who have had three top-ten hits since finishing fourth on the X Factor in 2012, and will take to the stage at 5.30pm before helping Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall switch on the lights at 6pm.

And Union J’s Jaymi Hensley had a special message for his Renfrewshire fans, saying: “We are really looking forward to coming to Paisley.

“We’ve been told it’s always a really fun day so we’re looking forward to doing a big outdoor gig in the town centre for thousands of people.

“And it will be lovely to catch up with our Scottish fans as they’ve always given us great backing.”

Elsewhere in the town centre there will be a snow beach, funfair, Christmas craft workshops, face painting and children’s entertainers, as well as the chance to shop for craft, design and vintage clothing at the Slug in a Bottle market.

The event is being held by Renfrewshire Council as part of its town centre events programme.

Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Over the past few years, Paisley’s Christmas Lights Switch-on has grown and grown into a massive event – and one which attracts people into Paisley from outwith the local area.

“Our whole events programme is geared towards using our town centres as venues, thus ensuring local traders can soak up the benefits of having such big crowds on their doorsteps.

“This year we have again put together another programme of top-quality entertainment along what is already a winning formula.

“I am sure the event will again be popular so I would encourage people to come along be part of it, we look forward to seeing you there.”

There are two other Christmas Lights Switch-on events still to come locally, in Renfrew on Saturday 22 November and Johnstone a week later.

Residents are reminded there will be a series of road closures in Paisley town centre on the day of the event, and these can be seen at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Johnstone gets switched on for Christmas

Hundreds of people turned out this weekend for Johnstone’s Christmas Lights switch on.

The event in Houston Square saw celebrity designer John Amabile join Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson and twins Abbie and Blaire Monkman, from Houston, to officially light up the town for the festive season.

Gryffe High pupils Abbie and Blair, 11, switched on the lights in memory of their mother Debbie who passed away recently at St Vincent’s Hospice.

The event was organised by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with St Vincent’s, a charity which John is patron of.

Entertainment was provided by Clyde One’s Gina McKie and Kevin Cameron with lucky locals winning tickets to see Peter Andre, Pixie Lott and Mamma Mia.

There were performances by 22-year-old pop act GeO, who has supported many acts including Westlife, Alesha Dixon and Peter Andre, and Renfrewshire’s own Jamie McArthur. Local groups Dans-scene and Per4mance Stage School also took to the stage.
There was a snow beach provided by SnoZone at Braehead, a St Vincent’s Hospice Christmas Cafe and Santa’s Grotto within a marquee in Houston Square.
Provost Lawson said: “Johnstone switch on was a fantastic day and definitely the best turn out we’ve had in recent years. There was a real family atmosphere and great to see performances from such talented local youngsters.”