Renfrew and Johnstone will officially mark the start of the festive season as the Christmas lights in each town are due to be switched on in the coming weeks. 

In Renfrew the town’s Robertson Park will host a festive day out for all the family from 12pm on Saturday 26 November and there’s a sleigh-load of free activities on offer to keep even the littlest elf entertained. 

The McMaster Centre will be busy hosting Christmas craft workshops and face painting until 4.45pm and don’t forget to visit Santa and tell him what’s on your list this year – he’ll be in his grotto until 4.30pm.

There’s something for everyone in Robertson Park with a Christmas market, a silent disco running throughout the event, and a cinema tent showing two classic festive films – tickets will be available to book soon!

It wouldn’t be Christmas without carols and Renfrew Burgh Band will be hosting their annual Christmas carol concert in the cinema tent from 3.45pm. 

There’s something for the thrill seekers too, with a funfair located in the park until 5pm. 

At 5pm we’ll switch on the Christmas lights in a special ceremony in the park and residents and visitors are encouraged to take a short walk in to the town centre to enjoy the full display. 

It’s Johnstone’s turn on Saturday 3 December and Houstoun Square will be transformed in to a winter wonderland with a variety of activities on offer to put everyone in the festive spirit. 

There’ll be entertainment in the bandstand from 1pm – hosted by Johnstone Sound – with local acts performing live from 2pm. 

Santa hasn’t forgotten about the children of Johnstone and he’ll be in the town to discover what they are hoping to find in their stockings this year. You can find him inside his grotto. 

Don’t forget to visit the Christmas market – hosted by St Vincent’s Hospice – and get a start on some of your Christmas shopping. 

There are activities for all ages with a funfair on site in Houstoun Square and children’s activities running throughout the day in Station Seven. 

At 5pm the community will come together at the bandstand to light up Johnstone for the Christmas period. 

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The Christmas switch on events are always a highlight of my calendar and I can’t wait to see everyone come out and celebrate the festive season. 

“Each town will be buzzing all afternoon and I’m sure all the youngsters will be excited to visit Santa and let him know what they’d really like for Christmas this year. 

“These events really mean so much to the local community and I hope to see you all there for the big switch on moment.” 

Research shows around 70p from every pound spent in the local area stays in the local area and Renfrewshire Council are encouraging visitors to the Christmas event to take part in the Spend Local campaign and support the wide range of businesses on offer in Renfrew and Johnstone town centres. 

In the run up to each event, local businesses are taking part in a giveaway and offering customers the chance to win £250 worth of gift vouchers to spend in the local area. All you have to do is visit a participating business and fill out an entry card. The winners will be chosen at random in a draw at each event and announced before the switch on. 

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