Paisley town centre is ready to welcome thousands of visitors this weekend when the town’s annual Halloween festival – one of the biggest and best of its kind in the UK – returns.
The ever-popular free-to-attend event is on for three evenings between Thursday 26 and Saturday 28 October, from 5 to 9pm each night.
Paisley has become Scotland’s home of Halloween in recent years and the festival will again be set against the stunning backdrop of the town’s 850-year-old Abbey and historic town centre.
This year will see a new and improved event layout – visitors are advised to plan their trip in advance to make sure they can see everything they want to. The action takes place over two zones:
- The Halloween Trail Zone is a one-way walk-through experience around the Abbey, featuring specially-created unique attractions including an interactive fire show, spooky bat cave and raven’s realm. There will be a queue to enter this area, with last entry at 8.30pm
- The Live Performance Zone in the area around Paisley Cross will see shows from returning festival favourites Spark! LED drummers and the flame-throwing PyroCeltica, alongside other walkabout and community performers
Other attractions at the event include stunning aerial performers flying 40ft in the air above the Abbey, a haunted funfair, street food and a toast-your-own marshmallow pit.
Full programme info – including a list of performance times – is at www.paisley.is/halloween.
The event is staged by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with internationally-renowned circus performance specialists Cirque Bijou, and supported by EventScotland as part of their national events programme.
Pauline Allan, Renfrewshire Council’s events manager, said: “Paisley Halloween Festival has grown in recent years to become the highlight of our annual events programme.
“This year will see the return of many of the elements previous visitors know and love but we’ve made a few changes to the event site to help ensure the best experience for everyone.
“The main change is you will have to queue to enter the Halloween Trail Zone part of the event. We encourage you to check the paisley.is website before you come to see what’s on where and when, to make sure you catch all the bits you want to see.
“The Halloween festival is the perfect stage to show off everything Paisley and its historic town centre has to offer, and always provides a boost to our local traders.
“It’s also a great platform for our young community cultural groups to learn from and showcase their talents alongside the professional performers they are sharing the bill with.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are proud to support the award-winning Paisley Halloween as part of EventScotland’s National Events Programme.
“It’s wonderful to see Scotland’s home of Halloween continue to evolve and enhance the event experience for all. Community spirit and sense of place is at the heart of Paisley Halloween and this year’s event is set to spook, entertain and enthral locals and visitors alike of all ages.
“Events such as Paisley Halloween play an important role in our communities, enabling us all to connect and share memorable experiences, whilst also strengthening Scotland’s position as the perfect stage for events.”
Paisley is easy to reach from throughout West-Central Scotland. If arriving by train, leave Paisley Gilmour Street station via the County Square exit and you will be in the event site.
There will be road closures and parking restrictions throughout the town centre – see the paisley.is website for a full list. Parking will be available around the town centre, with additional event parking at West College Scotland and Paisley Grammar School.
The event has been designed to be accessible. Parking for those with blue badges will be available at council HQ at Renfrewshire House – enter via the back entrance at Mill Street. And accessible viewing platforms will be available at the event to help ensure the best views.
The Halloween festival tops off a busy October for Paisley – with the Royal National Mòd – Scotland’s largest celebration of Gaelic language and culture – having just taken place in Paisley’s newly-reopened town hall.