Record numbers of people flocked to Paisley this weekend for the town’s spectacular Christmas Lights switch on event.

An estimated crowd of 28,000 came into Paisley’s historic town centre for the packed day long event which kicked off in the morning with a farmers market and craft fayre, followed by Reindeer Parade, and performances by the Singing Kettle, Red Hot Chilli Pipers and headline act Olly Murs.

There was also a SnoZone, fun fair and Radio Clyde Roadshow hosted by Gina McKie.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay, who also chairs Paisley Vision Board, said: “This was our biggest event yet and the numbers speak for themselves. The fact that the people of Renfrewshire and beyond yet again flocked to the town for this fantastic event shows that our plans to regenerate the town are on track. Along with the spectacular fireworks display, which also attracted a crowd of 25,000, these events are breathing new life into Paisley town centre.

“The response has been fantastic, from young people and families coming to see performers, and from the business community who have this year given their resounding support for the event. For the first time, this year’s event attracted private sponsorship from local firms KDS Group and Bam Construction.”

Paisley’s Christmas lights switch-on is one of the key events in the council’s strategy to regenerate Paisley town centre and has grown from strength to strength each year.

As part of the council’s recent Difficult Choices for Difficult Times consultation with local residents and businesses, local people were asked if they wanted events such as these to continue. 63% of respondents favoured continued backing of town centre events because of their importance in supporting the regeneration of Paisley and other towns.

Maureen Hill, Piazza Shopping Centre Manager, commented:

“The whole day was a great success: it was fantastic to see the town buzzing with so many people, and I’ve had some excellent feedback from our retailers on how busy they were on the day.

“These kind of big events are really important for Paisley to raise the profile and awareness of what the town centre has to offer, particularly in the run up to the festive season when they really attract people into the town centre. At The Piazzza, we’re always delighted to have the opportunity to show shoppers that with a great range of high street names under one roof, right here in Paisley, they don’t need to look any further to complete their Christmas shopping.”

Shonaid Kaye, of Paisley Farmers’ Market said: “These events are great not just for the bigger retailers in the town but because they provide an opportunity for smaller local producers to sell their products to a much wider audience. All of our stallholders recorded much higher sales on the day. This also has a knock on effect as it attracts people who may not know about the regular farmers market and encourages them to come back in future.”