Paisley Halloween Festival - Copyright Chris Watt
Johnstone is ready for Christmas

Thousands descended on Johnstone town centre this weekend as the Christmas lights were switched on in the town.

Johnstone is ready for Christmas

The Pulse FM DJs hosted a main stage in Houstoun Square packed with local entertainment to get everyone in the festive mood.

Santa and his reindeer made an appearance to find out what the children of Johnstone are hoping to find in their stocking this year, and the youngsters were spoilt for choice with a variety of activities run by Active Communities, including face painting and glitter tattoos.

St Vincent’s Hospice hosted a Christmas market with a selection of goodies available for those early Christmas present ideas, and a funfair was on site to keep the thrill seekers busy.

At 5pm, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron was joined by lucky competition winner, Calum Anderson from St Anthony’s, on stage to push the button and light up Johnstone

Provost Cameron said: “It’s been another fantastic event and I was so pleased to see such a great turn out in Johnstone again this year.

“The town looks brilliant and it was great to have Calum with me to help me push the button and turn on the lights.”

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

This year’s event was recognised as part of Fair Saturday – a global initiative supporting social causes and innovation in communities.

For more information on events in Renfrewshire visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

ENDS

Paisley Abbey

A commemorative event will take place this weekend to mark the 90th anniversary of the Glen Cinema Disaster.

The commemoration will take place in Paisley town centre this Saturday 7 December and will begin with a lantern procession involving more than 150 young people from community groups and schools starting at Dunn Square at 5.15pm and traveling up St Mirren Brae, towards Abbey Close.

Paisley Abbey

Following the procession, a service at Paisley Abbey will see local performers, and community groups pay tribute to the victims, survivors and their families.

As part of the Paisley Abbey service Renfrewshire Makar, Brian Whittingham will read his poem about the disaster while singer-songwriter Carol Laula will perform a song, written with actor and musician Tom Urie, specially commissioned for the 90th commemoration.

A number of invited guests will attend the service including survivors Robert Pope and Emily Brown along with their families.

The Glen Cinema tragedy took place on 31 December 1929 when a smoking film canister caused a panic during a packed children’s matinee where more than 600 children were present. As a result of the crush that followed 70 children died and more than 30 children were injured.

News of the disaster was far-reaching with letters of condolence being sent to the town from people across the globe. The impacts were global as well – as the Cinematograph Act 1909 was then amended to ensure all cinemas had more exits, that doors opened outwards and were fitted with push bars. A limitation was also placed on the capacity of cinemas and a requirement for an appropriate number of adult attendants to ensure safety of children.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The 90th anniversary of the Glen Cinema disaster gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to the victims, survivors and families who were affected by the terrible events that took place that day.

“This weekend’s commemoration will allow us to reflect and raise awareness of the disaster and its far-reaching impacts and reflect on this very tragic point in Paisley’s history.”

In addition to the procession and service a commemorative film ‘The Glen Cinema Disaster’ directed by Paul Mothersole has been commissioned with ticketed, free screenings taking place on Saturday 7 December between 1 and 4.15pm at POP Community & Arts Space in the Piazza. A small exhibition of printed letters held in the Secret Collection will also be on display in POP from 7 – 20 December.

Also, as part of the 90th anniversary commemorations an artist will be commissioned to create a public piece of art, in collaboration with the local community to commemorate and raise awareness of the disaster.

Members of the public who wish to pay their respects are encouraged to attend the lantern procession as there are only a limited number of tickets available for the Paisley Abbey service on a first come first served basis from InCube Shop, 9B Gilmour Street.

The event taking place on 7 December is in addition to the annual memorial service and wreath laying which takes place at Paisley Cenotaph on the morning of 31 December, which is run by community members and supported by Renfrewshire Council.

The Glen Cinema 90th anniversary commemoration event is funded through Renfrewshire Council’s Future Paisley programme.

To secure a ticket for The Glen Cinema Disaster film screening please visit: https://glencinemadisasterfilm.eventbrite.co.uk

A limited number of free tickets will be available to the public for the commemorative service at Paisley Abbey on a first come first served basis from InCube Shop, Paisley Office, 9B Gilmour St, Paisley PA1 1DG from Friday 22 November. The shop is open from 11am – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday.

johnstone christmas lights

Johnstone will officially mark the start of the festive season as the Christmas lights in the town are switched on this weekend.

Saturday, 30 November, will see Houstoun Square transformed in to a winter wonderland with a variety of entertainment to put everyone in the festive spirit.

johnstone christmas lights

From 12pm, the Pulse FM DJs will host the main stage – set in the Houstoun Square bandstand – with local acts performing live from 2pm.

Santa will be taking a break from his busy schedule to hear what all the children are hoping to find in their stockings this year. You can find him inside his grotto. Don’t forget to say hello to his reindeer friends!

This year’s event takes place on Fair Saturday so if you’re looking to get a head start on your Christmas shopping and support a local cause in the process, then don’t miss the St Vincent’s Hospice market. Active Communities will also be running creative activities including face painting and glitter tattoos until 5pm.

At 5pm, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will be joined by lucky competition winner, Calum Anderson from St Anthony’s Primary, on stage to push the button and light up Johnstone for the Christmas period.

Provost Cameron said: “We had two great events in Paisley and Renfrew on the past two weekends. Now it’s Johnstone’s turn and I can’t wait to bring the festivities to the town.

“The town will be buzzing all afternoon with Santa making an appearance and lots of entertainment to keep young and old entertained.“I’m looking forward to turning on the lights with Calum this year and I hope to see you all there for the big moment.”

Research shows around 65p from every pound spent in the local area stays in the local area and Renfrewshire Council are encouraging visitors to the event to take part in the Spend Local campaign and support the wide range of businesses on offer in Johnstone town centre.

For more information on events in Renfrewshire visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

Renfrew Xmas Lights

Thousands turned out for an afternoon full of festive cheer as the Renfrew Christmas lights were switched on this weekend.

There was fun for all the family with entertainment put on in the town centre designed to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.

Renfrew Xmas Lights

Santa took a break from his busy schedule to hear what the children in Renfrew had on their lists in advance of the big day and there was plenty of opportunity to get the perfect photo with Rudolph and friends.

There was something for even the littlest elf with puppet shows, face painting and a balloon artist in the town hall, and funfair rides in the Charles Avenue car park for the thrill seekers willing to brave the cold.

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without carols and the Renfrew Burgh Band delighted audiences with all the favourites during their annual carol concert.

Later in the afternoon, the main stage in the town centre – hosted by Pulse FM – saw local artists showcase their talents before the big switch on arrived at 5pm.

Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost Cathy McEwan was joined by lucky competition winner, Mairead Campbell, age 9, from St James’ Primary, to turn on the lights and set off the spectacular fireworks display above Renfrew Town Hall.

She said: “I was delighted to see so many people in Renfrew this weekend.

“Everyone was having a great time and the fireworks to finish the event were incredible.

“Mairead did a great job helping me switch on the lights and I hope she had a brilliant day out with her family.”

For more information on events in Renfrewshire visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

Renfrew Christmas Lights

Renfrew will shine bright this Saturday, 23 November, as the Christmas lights are switched on in the town.

The festivities in the town centre kick off at 12pm and there’s a sleigh-load of free family fun on offer to keep even the littlest elf entertained.

Renfrew Christmas Lights

Renfrew Town Hall will be busy hosting free face painting and a balloon artist until 4pm, and you can catch Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre’s performance of Lost Bears’ Christmas at 12pm and 1pm.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without carols and Renfrew Burgh Band will be hosting their annual Christmas carol concert in Renfrew Town Hall from 3pm.

Santa will be waiting in his grotto to hear what’s on your Christmas list this year – you can find him inside the Renfrew Christian Fellowship Hall until 4pm. Don’t forget to say hello to Rudolph and his friends!

From 3pm-5pm, local performers will showcase their talents on the main stage – hosted by Pulse FM – before the big switch on.

There’s something for the thrill seekers too, with a funfair located in Charles Avenue car park until 6:30pm.

Research shows around 65p from every pound spent in the local area stays in the local area and Renfrewshire Council are encouraging visitors to the event to take part in the Spend Local campaign and support the wide range of businesses on offer in Renfrew town centre.

At 5pm, the lights will be switched on and the sky above Renfrew will be lit up with a spectacular fireworks display.

Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost Cathy McEwan will be there to switch on the lights. She said: “Our winter events season is in full swing and it’s brilliant having all this activity in the heart of the town centre.

“There’s fantastic entertainment on all afternoon – with carol singing, face painting, Santa’s reindeer and more, finishing with an unmissable fireworks display.

“This year I’ll be joined by competition winner Mairead from St James’ Primary to switch on the lights and I’d love to see you all there too.”

For more information on events in Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

Paisley Christmas Lights 2019

More than 21,000 people headed to Paisley town centre to mark the beginning of the festive season at the town’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-On event.

Families enjoyed a full day of free, Christmas-themed fun, with Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron carrying out the big switch on alongside Santa and X Factor stars, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.

Paisley Christmas Lights 2019

They were helped by 11-year-old Taylor McPherson, from St Peter’s Primary School, who won the annual Christmas card design competition.

Earlier in the day the gathered crowds marvelled as the 300-strong parade, led by Santa himself, wound its way through the streets featuring festive floats, costumed characters and choreographed displays from local community groups and professional performers.

Paisley Christmas Lights 2019

A new addition to this year’s event – the Winter Roller Disco – proved a firm favourite with visitors with hundreds taking a spin on the rink before the day was through.

The live stage offered plenty of music and entertainment with performances from; Funbox, The Swinging Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie. A number of local community and school choirs also delighted visitors with classic carol performances in Paisley Abbey to help make everyone feel merry and bright.

Paisley Christmas Lights 2019

Kids were given the chance to give their wish lists to Santa in his Grotto in The Piazza Shopping Centre. The Coats venue also offered plenty of activities to keep the little ones entertained.  There was also a funfair, Creative Craft Trail around the town’s local cafes and businesses and Crafty Christmas Market for people to do a little Christmas shopping.

Paisley Christmas Lights 2019

This year the lights extend to the top of the High Street leading to a giant illuminated Christmas bauble in the grounds of the Coats venue, delivered in partnership with Paisley First. The bauble will be in place throughout the festive season, offering the perfect festive selfie spot.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron said: “The Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On is one of the big events in the winter calendar and this year didn’t disappoint with a packed programme with something for everyone.

“It was a great way to celebrate the start of the festive season and it was wonderful to see so many families and young people coming into the town to take part in the day.

“I’d like to take this chance to wish everyone a peaceful and Merry Christmas when it comes.”

The festive fun continues across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday, 23 November and Johnstone on Saturday, 30 November.

Paisley First’s WinterFest also opens in the town centre on 23 November and runs daily until December 30, except for Christmas Day and is sure to provide even more opportunities for people to spend local.

To find out more about future events taking place please visit: https://paisley.is/list_event/.

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY

Step into Christmas in Paisley! We’ll be celebrating all things festive with Santa, his reindeer and a sleigh-load of free, family fun throughout Paisley town centre on Saturday 16 November from noon till 6 pm.

Gus from Pulse FM will kick things off on the live stage shortly before the tinsel-tastic Santa parade gathers, ready to process through the town centre on this year’s new, longer route from 12.30 pm.

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY

With Santa in his sleigh and his trusty reindeer leading the way, this year’s 300-strong parade will dazzle spectators with its giant festive floats, costumed characters – including ice queens, delectable sweets, gingerbread men and roller-skating candlesticks – plus choreographed displays from local community groups.

Times for Saturday 16th November

12:00-18:00
Crafty Christmas Market @ Piazza Shopping Centre
12:00-18:00
Winter Roller Disco @ County Square
12:00-18:00
Jolly Kids Zone @ Coats Venue
12:30
Santa Parade
13:30-14:15
Visit Santa’s reindeer @ UWS
13:30-18:00
Live Stage @ Gauze Street
13:45-16:00
Festive Choir Concerts @ Paisley Abbey
14:00-17:30
Santa’s Grotto @ Piazza Shopping Centre
18:00
Lights on!

And speaking of roller skates, we’ll also be operating a new Winter Roller Disco over in County Square. With skating sessions running throughout the day, you can test your balance on 4 wheels with a spin around our roller rink.

Coats Venue will be our jolly kids hub this year; a fantastic, free space that’s bursting like a Christmas cracker with things to do for young children. Head here to write your letter to Santa, make Christmas cards, get a glitter tattoo or take a yuletide selfie.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without carols either, and where better to hear them than the atmospheric Abbey. Make sure you stop in for a mince pie and a rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer before heading to the Piazza for a spot of shopping – courtesy of the Urban Market – and a visit to Santa in his Grotto!

For music and entertainment, head to our live stage. Here you’ll catch performances from Funbox, The Singing Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, special guests Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.

With their help (and Santa’s magic!) we’ll countdown to Christmas before lighting up the town with the big switch-on at 6 pm. We hope we’ll see you there!

abbey door 2019

Lisa Kowalski has received funding from Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund (CHEF) to write and record a song that sings Paisley’s praises. The funding will also cover the production of a music video that will be set in and showcase the Paisley area. 

abbey door 2019

The project will start in November 2019, when Lisa will consult with her Paisley buddies about what aspects of the town they think should feature in the song.  Lisa will then use her award-winning songwriting skills to put together suitable lyrics and music and record the track locally. There will be opportunity for local artists to design artwork for the release of the song. 

 

Once the song is completed, the shooting of the video will take place in and around Paisley, with potential for local people to feature in the filming.  The song and video will be released early in 2020 and Lisa will head off to New York’s Tartan Week at the start of April to perform the song at a ceremony in Manhattan’s Bryant Park. 

paisley steps

19-year-old Lisa started her music career 5 years ago, busking on Paisley High Street. She has always valued the support she has received from local people and organisations, having been named as a “woman of influence” by the Provost and “Paisley’s first lady of music” by Mike Dillon, Celtic FM presenter.  Lisa considers her involvement in the Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture Bid and her invitation to New York Tartan Week 2018 to be two of the highlights of her musical journey. Her 2017 “Hearts of Gold” song and video, also about Paisley and also funded by the CHEF grant, attracted the attention of the American Scottish Foundation and resulted in the invite to New York.  She therefore thought it would be wonderful to have a new Paisley song to take with her for her second visit, demonstrating that Paisley’s cultural ambition continues even though the town didn’t win the 2021 bid.

“Hearts of Gold” is a happy, catchy tune that tells the story of Lisa’s busking experiences, but Lisa aims to write her second Paisley tribute song in such a way that everyone can sing along to the lyrics and relate to the message – a real anthem.

Lisa started studying Commercial Music at the University of the West of Scotland this year and continues to pursue a career as a singer song writer. She hopes the music that she plans to release over the next two years will raise her profile as an artist, at the same time elevating Paisley as a town full of talent.

The Culture, Heritage and Events Fund is a cultural grants programme run by Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Leisure. It sets out to raise cultural ambition, enhance participation and unlock creative potential in Renfrewshire.

paisley christmas

Paisley will welcome the festive season in style this weekend at the town’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-On event.

The family-favourite, free event will begin at 12pm on Saturday 16 November before Santa and his sleigh ride into town at 12.30pm to lead the 300-strong parade that will greet the gathered crowds.

paisley christmas

The parade will have a new, extended route for 2019 and is set to wow spectators with giant festive floats, costumed characters and choreographed displays from local community groups and professional performers. Following the parade there will be a number of street performers entertaining the crowds.

Visitors can take a spin around the Winter Roller Disco in County Square – a new addition to this year’s event it’s sure to be a family favourite with six sessions taking place throughout the day.

paisley christmas

The live stage will offer plenty of music and entertainment with performances from; Funbox, The Swinging Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, special guests – X Factor stars, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.

For those looking for a more traditional Christmas celebration there will be a series of local community and school choirs performing classic carols in Paisley Abbey – a sure way to get everyone in the festive mood.

paisley christmas

There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained as Coats Memorial will be transformed into the perfect Christmas playground bursting with activities to keep the little ones entertained such as writing letters to Santa, making Christmas cards, face painting, soft play and much more.

Kids can meet Santa at his Grotto in The Piazza Shopping Centre to tell him what’s on their Christmas list, while those looking to do a bit of Christmas shopping can head to the festive Urban Market offering plenty of fabulous gift ideas.

A Creative Craft Trail will be taking place as part of the event in some of the town’s fantastic local cafes and businesses, where visitors can learn to make festive jewellery, decorations and fascinators among other activities.

The big finale moment of the day will be the switch-on moment which will take place at the Live Stage at 6pm.

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY

This year the lights will extend to the top of the High Street leading to a giant illuminated Christmas bauble, delivered in partnership with Paisley First. The bauble will be located in the grounds of Coats venue offering the perfect festive selfie spot.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron said: “Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On is a fantastic family day out with plenty of opportunities to get the whole family in the festive mood.

“This year’s event is even bigger with a longer parade route and children’s activities taking place in the stunning Coats venue.

“It’s sure to attract lots of visitors to the town centre and encourage people to see what fantastic festive goodies they can get their hands on in some of our great local businesses.”

There will also be a funfair at the event located on Bridge Street with smaller rides on Gilmour Street.

To find out more about future events taking place please visit: https://paisley.is/list_event/.

Tickets for the Roller Disco are £2 including booking fee and e-ticket charge and skate hire is included in this charge. Children under 8 years-old must be accompanied by an adult.

Sessions are limited to 40 places.

You can purchase tickets in advance here: https://paisley.is/winter-roller-disco/

A quiet space will be located in POP inside the Piazza Shopping Centre and Coats Venue -this will be an autism friendly space with soft lighting, comfortable seating and noise cancelling headphones.