Paisley and renfrewshire Events

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

Paisley’s annual Halloween Festival returns on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October with a Dark Circus theme for 2019 promising plenty of chills and thrills for visitors.

One of the largest festivals of its kind in the UK, this year’s event promises to be the biggest and best yet with internationally acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou, helping to transform the entire town centre into the perfect Halloween playground.

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

The two-day spectacular, which routinely attracts tens of thousands to the town, will serve up a whole host of frighteningly fun, free activities for everyone to enjoy with the entire town serving as the stage.

The main spectacle of the festival is the carnival-style Halloween Parade which takes place on the Saturday and will see more than 300 costumed performers and community groups led through the town by the sinister Svengali ringmaster. The parade has a new, extended route for 2019 taking over the entire town centre and will boast magnificent floats and ferocious fire performers, creepy clowns and curious creatures, along to thrilling live music.

Immediately following the parade, no matter where visitors are positioned around the town centre, there will be something to see or experience as a series of live acts and activities will restart.

Aerial artists, All or Nothing, will also perform their death-defying act ‘Into the Dark’, which will see the artists circle and swirl around the haunted carousel over the grounds of the town’s iconic Abbey.

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

A new addition to this year’s festival is the ticketed spooky silent disco. Held in the heart of the town the disco is sure to deliver plenty of dancing, singing and Halloween fun for all the family.

The weekend will offer plenty of opportunities to join in the fun with a range of family-focussed Halloween-themed arts and crafts activities and workshops including pumpkin carving. Street theatre acts and walkabout performances will pop up around the town centre featuring the likes of the Spark LED Drummers and Mr Wilson’s Second Liners as well as acrobatic and hula hoop artists. There will also be a creative craft trail in a number of local cafes where visitors can do everything from building a bug to creating their very own gargoyle from clay.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The annual Paisley Halloween Festival is always a highlight in our events calendar. Our increasingly ambitious programme attracts thousands of visitors each year and is now regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK.

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

“The festival has really cemented the town’s position as a key destination for visitors and is great for the local economy, with last year’s event worth more than £1.9m to the town and attracting 34,000 people. This year we aim to attract even more visitors to enjoy fabulous performances taking place across the town from high wire acts to the spectacular parade, and to sample our great selection of cafes, restaurants and shops.”

The Paisley Halloween Festival, which was supported in 2018 through the Year of Young People event fund, was awarded £16,950 of National Programme funding from EventScotland for this year’s event.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “The Paisley Halloween Festival continues to go from strength to strength and it is hugely exciting to see it sporting its biggest ever programme for 2019. This year’s exciting and innovative programme will no doubt engage audiences of all ages with aerial performances, arts & crafts activities, outdoor street theatre and the stunning Halloween Parade. Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and the festival is a great boost for Paisley, drawing thousands of visitors and locals alike to the town centre to enjoy this spectacular annual celebration.”

To find out more about Paisley Halloween Festival please visit www.paisley.is/halloween

paisley pirates

Pirates gave new netminder Danny Morris his competitive debut and it proved to be a successful one for him as the club recorded a fine victory over the Kestrels.

The visitors got off to a flying start and were ahead in under a minute as player/coach Adam Walker was on hand to net and give his side the lead after only 49 seconds. It got better for Pirates as with less than four minutes on the clock Guy linked up with Thorp to double the advantage as he fired beyond Simpson for 2-0. Back came the hosts to get on the board through Quinn in the 8th minute, and while both teams continued to press neither could alter the score board, and thus the opening 20 minutes ended with Pirates holding a slim 2-1 lead.

Pirates again came out flying and doubled their lead after only eleven seconds as former Kestrel Conor Duncan was on hand to score against his old side and stretch the lead to 3-1. The scoreline remained the same until the second half of the period, when a flurry of goals decided the match. The home side pulled a goal back through Wands in 31 minutes but a three goal in 90 seconds burst through Guy, Andreucci and Abercrombie took the score to a handy 6-2 lead for the visitors within two minutes and the match was effectively over as a contest.

Anderson did net a 3rd goal for the Kestrels in the early part of the final session, but Pirates remained comfortable at 6-3 and saw out the remaining minutes for a good win.

paisley pirates

 

PIRATES BEGIN HOME SCHEDULE

 

Paisley Pirates finally commence their home schedule this SATURDAY when they play host to Aberdeen Lynx, who scored a dramatic 4-3 penalty shot win at Dundee Tigers at the weekend. Pirates similarly recorded a win on the road, beating Kirkcaldy Kestrels 6-3 in Fife, after which player/coach Adam Walker commented, ”It was a good road win for the boys. There’s lots of work to be done yet, but we’re getting better every day.”

“We’re looking forward to playing in front of our own fans after a few weeks on the road,” said Off Ice Operations Manager Jackie Turley. “Our matches with the Lynx are usually entertaining  affairs, so in a lot of respects they’re the ideal opponents to be first footing us come Saturday night, and we’re sure that returning fans and, indeed, new supporters, will get an excellent return for their £9.”

She went on, “It will give the fans who haven’t been able to travel their first chance to see our new look team in action, and they will be wearing their new look home strips too. The away tops seem to have taken a trick with our travelling fans, so we’re hoping the home strips will get a similar favourable response. A lot of the jerseys have already been individually sponsored by fans and local companies for only £60, and while we’re very happy with that reaction, other potential backers still have the chance to jump on board with our Jersey Sponsor scheme.”

 

The match on Saturday commences at 6.30pm.

Paisley Fireworks 2019

The skies above Paisley Abbey are set to be lit up with a dazzling fireworks display on Saturday 2 November.

Thousands are expected to don hats, scarves and gloves and head into Paisley town centre to watch the beautiful array of catherine wheels, rockets and sparklers on display backed by a soundtrack of popular 90s classic hits.

Paisley Fireworks 2019

Gus from Pulse FM will welcome crowds with music and banter from 6.30pm before the fireworks get underway at 7pm lasting approximately 20 minutes.

Paisley’s winter events programme will continue with the town’s Christmas Lights Switch-On on Saturday 16 November. There will be plenty of Christmas family fun including Christmas Choir concerts, Santa’s Grotto and the chance to meet Santa’s reindeer. Visitors will also be able to enjoy exciting street artists, fantastic performances on the live stage and even head along to the festive roller disco.

The festive fun will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday 23 November and Johnstone on Saturday 30 November. The town centre also sees the return of the WinterFest event from 23 November until 30 December, run by Paisley First, featuring an outdoor ice rink, LEGO Paisley Penguin Parade Trail and plenty of festive fun.

For more information about Paisley Fireworks Spectacular, visit: https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-fireworks-spectacular/

DIRTY FEET DANCE CO

Laura Forbes had never fully been out of her wheelchair before participating in aerial workshops as part of this year’s Paisley Halloween Festival, but next week she will perform 100ft in the air in front of Paisley’s iconic Abbey alongside her Dirty Feet Dance Company family.

The Paisley-based Dirty Feet Dance Company aims to create opportunities for disabled and non-disabled people and carers to enjoy, express and fulfil their potential through dance. They have been working with professional performers from Scotland’s leading aerial dance company All or Nothing, on the ‘Into the Dark’ show which is taking place as part of this year’s Paisley Halloween Festival on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October.

DIRTY FEET DANCE CO

During the workshops the group have been given the opportunity to take to the sky in special aerial harnesses to allow them to express themselves in the air.

Laura Forbes (40), joined Dirty Feet Dance Company in 2013 and this is the first time she has tried anything like this. She said: “I’ve never been fully out of the wheelchair before, when I get lifted in the harness it’s an amazing feeling, it’s freedom.

“Before I first went up in the air I was scared but after the first time in the harness I just loved it. It gives me a total sense of freedom out of my wheelchair. If there’s something I’ve learned from this experience it’s that I won’t let being scared stop me from trying something new.”

“I can’t wait for us all to perform at next week’s festival. When we all come together we can do anything and achieve anything – we’re all like family.”

DIRTY FEET DANCE CO

Clare Easdon (37) has been a member of the group since 2006. She said: “It feels amazing when you’re up in the air. I know I’m a wheelchair user but I don’t feel disabled when I’m up there. Being part of Dirty Feet Dance Company lets me try new experiences – this is the first time I’ve ever done aerial and I love it. I think it’s amazing what we’re able to do as wheelchair users.”

During the workshops the performers are able to use either a full body or sitting harness attached to a pully rope system to give them the opportunity to see how their bodies react in the air.

Ruth Foster, Co-director of Dirty Feet Dance Company, said: “It gives the performers a real sense of weightlessness and allows them the chance to explore their range of motion in a new platform and artform which has been a great experience for everyone.

“It’s within their power how high to go. They can stay a few feet off the ground or can ascend all the way up to the ceiling. They are in complete control of their movements in the air.”

Marie Williamson, aerial instructor and performer at All or Nothing, said: “The system we use gives them the opportunity to stretch out and discover their movement for themselves.

“From my point of view it’s an incredible thing to be part of – what I can see them get from it is fantastic. They all have such great characters and a real ‘do it’ attitude. They are very determined to show what they can do. I think people will be surprised by what they’ll see.”

This is one of a series of workshops taking place as part of the Paisley Halloween Festival pairing professional performance companies with local community groups to give them the opportunity to learn new skills and be involved in the town’s major events programme.

The award-winning Paisley Halloween Festival is widely regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK. This year’s event takes on a Dark Circus theme and promises to be the biggest yet with internationally acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou, helping to deliver an extended programme of performances to thrill, chill and enthral.

In addition to the daring aerial performances visitors will be captivated by the mass costumed parade through Scotland’s largest town featuring giant animated puppets, frightening floats and a cast of spooky circus characters. There will also be bizarre street theatrics, a ticketed silent disco and a fantastic array of family-friendly activities taking place in locations throughout the town centre over the two-day event.

The Paisley Halloween Festival, which was supported in 2018 through the Year of Young People event fund, was awarded £16,950 of National Programme funding from EventScotland for this year’s event.

paisley pirates

PIRATES HEAD EAST 

 

Paisley Pirates travel to Fife this Sunday evening where they take on Kirkcaldy Kestrels in a Scottish National League fixture (face off.6.15pm) Pirates will be looking to recover from a mauling by Solway Sharks, who beat them 14-3 last Sunday, after they had recorded a record 27-0 win at Kilmarnock the previous night.

paisley pirates

The Renfrewshire side will require to find their best form to take East with them, as the Rosslyn St rink is a traditionally hard place from which to come away with a win. In the corresponding fixture last season, they headed home with a creditable 5-5 draw, but after the disappointment of last weekend at Solway they will be looking to put a win on the board. The fixture marks an early return to the rink for brothers Conor and Jay Duncan, both signed from the Kestrels  before the start of the season, and who will be hopeful of making a successful return to their former regular base.

After their early diet of on the road ties, Pirates finally get a game on home ice next SATURDAY, when they come up against Aberdeen Lynx in a match which will face off at 6.30pm.

rocco

The shortlist for 2019 ROCCO Awards has been revealed and business across Renfrewshire are in for some top honours.

aesthetic-suites

Aesthetic Suites are in the Renfrewshire’s favourite business category and Nichola and Kristine would like to say, they appreciate the nominations from their clients to get to the final of the Rocco business award for Renfrewshire’s favourite business. Voting has now opened and we would be so grateful for votes. You can vote online here.

rocco

 

Renfrewshire’s flagship environmental campaign Team Up to Clean Up has achieved national recognition at the COSLA Excellence awards.

Team Up to Clean Up on stage at COSLA Awards

The partnership campaign between the council and the local community took home top honours in in the ‘Strong and Sustainable Communities’ category, beating formidable projects from Stirling Council and Dundee City Council in the process.

Author Ross McKenzie and illustrator Neil Slorance host a reading of The Clumps' Big Mess

The campaign has transformed local communities and injected a sense of pride into neighbourhoods across the area, with litter picks increasing by 474% in the first full year.

Through print, digital and social media promotion, the campaign has reached more than 4.4 million people to promote its key messages around litter, dog fouling, recycling and road cleanliness.

Stand out moments from the campaign have been the annual Big Spring Clean and Spotless September events, in which more than 4000 volunteers have taken part, the creation of children’s book The Clumps’ Big Mess, which was given to more than 14,000 pupils, and the Team Up to Clean Up caddies which give communities the tools to make a positive difference to their area.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I’m over the moon for everyone involved with the campaign that we’ve been recognised with a national award.

“It’s an award not only for the fantastic council staff who put their all into making this campaign a success, but for the community who volunteer their time and effort to make their neighbourhoods better.

“The campaign strives to make Renfrewshire a more attractive place to live, work and visit and this award shows that it is working, and local people are engaged with what we are trying to achieve.

“We’re going to build on our achievements so far and I can’t wait to work even closer with our communities to make Team Up to Clean Up successful for years to come.”

The COSLA Excellence Awards aim to recognise the best in local government and showcase those projects that are breaking new ground, with more than 200 projects nominated to the awards this year.

A COSLA spokesperson said: “Team Up to Clean Up and everyone at Renfrewshire Council should be proud of this achievement.

“‘Strong and Sustainable Communities’ has always been a difficult category to succeed in and the team were up against some well-established, innovative projects.

“What stood out about Team Up to Clean Up was that it both regenerated the local environment and managed its resources responsibly, all whilst making Renfrewshire a better place, to live, work and visit.”

The Team Up to Clean Up campaign forms part of a £2.5million investment across five years to make a real difference to the cleanliness of the streets in Renfrewshire and improve the local environment.

As well as the support from local communities, an enhanced programme of operational activity is underway to clean gullies, sweep the roads and repair the roads infrastructure to ensure the campaign is a joint approach between the council and its residents.

For more information and to find out how to get involved, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

PARENTS can bring their babies along to fitness classes run by Renfrewshire Leisure.

There are more than 60 classes in the new fitness timetable where mums or dads can have their babies sitting in a buggy or car seat alongside them as they work out.

Classes including Body Pump, Body Attack, Zumba, Vibe Spin Disco, Metafit and Spin Cycle Training are now buggy friendly.

These classes take place at The Lagoon Leisure Centre, in Paisley, Linwood’s ON-X, Erskine Sports Centre, Renfrew Leisure Centre, Johnstone Sports Hub and Ralston Community Sports Centre.

Anyone interested should log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com and look out for the dark blue buggy logo on the timetable to see when the buggy friendly classes are being held.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “This is an ideal opportunity for new mums and dads – or even grannies and grandpas looking after their grandchildren – to maintain their fitness without the extra cost of childcare.

“It can be difficult for mums getting back into a normal fitness routine after having a baby.

“Also, babysitters can be hard to find during the day when family and friends are at work. So, we’re giving mums and dads the option of bringing their babies along with them.

“Of course, you don’t need to bring a baby along to join the classes, as everyone is welcome!”

EVENT INVITATION
West College Scotland: We Do Care
Tuesday 22 October, Abercorn Building, Paisley

17:00 hrs :Arrival, Registration and Exhibition
17:30 hrs – 19:00 hrs: Informative Presentations

 

West College Scotland is Scotland’s largest college provider of online learning. We offer a wide range of flexible childcare, health and social care courses which you can study in a way that suits you. You might be in a job and looking to improve your qualifications or you may want to study in your leisure time.
At this event we will help you to create tailored learning packages to match your needs – it’s your learning journey after all!

With online learning, training, part-time and full-time courses in childcare, health and social care we can support your journey from induction to registration in Care. For many courses no qualifications or experience are necessary.

Come along and hear from our Sector Experts, previous students and meet the Team who will tell you about our special offers, advise you about your study choices and assist you with enrolment.

Register here: http://bit.ly/33tvqDZ

SPREE FESTIVAL 2019-5767

Paisley’s annual festival of music, comedy and more gets under way tonight – with a special tribute to one of the town’s most famous musical sons, Gerry Rafferty.

The Baker St singer’s legacy will be honoured with a sold-out Gerry Rafferty Songbook night fronted by Roddy Hart, Emma Pollock and Gerry’s long-time friend and former Stealers Wheel collaborator Rab Noakes.

SPREE FESTIVAL 2019-5767

The show kicks off nine days of Spree action – the bulk of which will take place in a specially-erected Spiegeltent next to Paisley Gilmour Street station in the town’s County Square.

The Spree festival is now in its eighth year and has helped Paisley become established as one of Scotland’s go-to destinations for major events.

The festival is organised by Renfrewshire Council, programmed by Regular Music, and sponsored by Tennent’s Lager.

SPREE FESTIVAL 2019-5767

Many of the shows are already sold out but there’s still time to get your hands on the last remaining tickets for others at www.thespree.co.uk, in person at the box office at InCube shop at 9b Gilmour St, or on the door at The Spiegeltent.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s show, musician, broadcaster and long-time Rafferty fan Roddy Hart said: “We are super-excited and looking forward to kicking off the Spree festival with a collection of Gerry Rafferty’s best-loved songs.

“The Spree is an amazing festival – it’s great to have these events outside of Glasgow and Edinburgh as it brings music and talent to whole array of people who might not have access to it otherwise. There’s a fantastic selection of singers and artists and it’s a very exciting thing to be part of.”

SPREE FESTIVAL 2019-5767

The Spree opening night also includes late-night comedy including Fred MacAulay and Mark Nelson in The Spiegeltent, with tickets still available at the door.

Saturday will see the town centre invaded by the Mods as the annual ModStuff event run by local promoters LNP Promotions returns with a free afternoon show – including the ever-popular scooter rideout – followed by a sold-out evening gig.

Rising stars of Scottish indie-rock The Snuts play The Spiegeltent on Sunday evening – with all tickets for the 450-capacity venue being snapped up in just two hours earlier this summer.

Highlights during the week include Hue and Cry (Mon 14th), Glasvegas only UK full-band show of the year (Tues 15th), former Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys (Wed 16th) and soul legend PP Arnold, performing alongside Ocean Colour Scene guitarist Steve Cradock (Thur 17th).

SPREE FESTIVAL 2019-5767

Next weekend sees Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook, and more late-night comedy featuring Scott Gibson and Gary Little (Fri 18th) before a lively last night with comedian Jerry Sadowitz followed by a closing party with the inventors of rockgrass Hayseed Dixie (Sat 19th).

Paisley Arts Centre will also host a diverse programme including Lost Map’s Lost Weekend (Sun 13th) with the Pictish Trail, a Paisley in Song night fronted by Michael Cassidy (Thurs 17th), and a show by ex-Arab Strap mainman Malcolm Middleton (Sat 19th).

The week will also see The Wee Spree – a special programme designed for kids to run over the October school week, featuring Lego, circus skills, comedy, and dance-along Disney films.

Sold-out shows include the Stramash ceilidh with local Gaelic music group Fèis Phaislig – promoting the town’s contribution to Gaelic language culture ahead of hosting the Royal National Mòd in exactly three years time.

And the Spree for All fringe festival will take the show on the road to towns and villages across Renfrewshire, with gigs taking place in local venues in Johnstone, Renfrew, Lochwinnoch and Kilbarchan, as well as a packed programme in Paisley’s Bungalow Bar and Old Swan Inn.

The Spree for All also takes in the Paisley Art Institute’s 131st annual exhibition – this year taking place in a formerly-empty unit in the Piazza shopping centre (right next to The Spiegeltent) while Paisley Museum is undergoing a £42m transformation.

Louisa Mahon, Renfrewshire Council’s head of communications, marketing and events, said: “The Spree has grown year on year with Paisley now firmly established as a key destination on Scotland’s festival map.

“Ticket sales this year have been by far our best yet – we look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to Paisley over the next nine days, which will be great news for local traders.

“Paisley town centre is home to many great places to eat, drink and shop and we and would encourage festival-goers to Spend Local and sample everything the town has to offer.”

The Spree is the first of a bumper run of major events in the area this winter, with huge crowds expected for Paisley Halloween Festival – one of the largest of its kind – on 25-26 October.

Paisley’s annual fireworks display is on Saturday 2 November, followed by Christmas Lights Switch-ons in Paisley (Sat 16th), Renfrew (Sat 23rd) and Johnstone (Sat 30th), while local business improvement district Paisley First’s annual Winterfest event will take over Paisley town centre for five weeks from 24 November.