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 Halloween Festival - Big Grey

Paisley Halloween Festival returns for its biggest year yet – and for the first time ever the entire town centre will be the stage!

The Dark Circus rolls into Paisley on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October 2019 with internationally acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou, helping to transform the town into the perfect Halloween playground.

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

The free two-day spectacular, one of the largest festivals of its kind in the UK which routinely attracts tens of thousands to the town, will cover everywhere from Bridge Street and County Square to the Coats Memorial Church and Shuttle Street, serving up creepy characters and frightening fun at every turn.

The main spectacle of the festival is the carnival-style Halloween Parade which takes place on the Saturday and will have an extended route for 2019. More than 300 costumed performers including local groups, voodoo acrobats, fire performers and curious creatures, jinxed jugglers and magnificent floats will be led through the town by the sinister Svengali ringmaster to thrilling live music, offering plenty of frights and delights along the way. Don’t miss the Dark Circus Stage on Gauze Street where the ringmaster will be conjuring up spectacular acts from his troupe of possessed performers.

The Saturday will see aerial artists, All or Nothing, perform their death-defying act ‘Into the Dark’ where professional artists will be joined by local performers who will circle and swirl around the haunted carousel suspended over the grounds of the town’s iconic Abbey. While international fire theatre company, PyroCeltica, will bring their unique performance to the Coats Memorial Church to delight the crowds.

New to the festival this year is the addition of the ticketed spooky silent disco. Held in Dunn Square in the heart of the town, the disco is sure to deliver plenty of dancing, singing and Halloween fun for all the family. DJs will play a range of floorfillers to the masses covering everything from Halloween favourites to the best of Indie disco, pop and dance classics – making sure everyone gets into the party mood.

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, high-wire walking and hula hoop artists.

There will also be scary movie screenings at Paisley Arts Centre, costume making with sustainable fashion experts Re:Mode, terrifying tales with Village Storytelling Centre and a Halloween Fun Fair.

Julian Bracey, Artistic Director at Cirque Bijou, said: “We are delighted to be working on this year’s Paisley Halloween Festival and to be involved in an event so strongly rooted in the town. We’ve been sourcing the best local talent and working closely with community groups from across Paisley who we’ll be putting centre stage in our Dark Circus parade alongside some of our fantastic professional performers.

“Cirque Bijou specialise in creating unforgettable and exquisitely crafted shows and Paisley Halloween Festival will be no different. We’ll be pulling every trick (and treat!) out of the bag to make this year the most spooktacular yet and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got in store.”

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “Paisley Halloween Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events in our calendar. Its stellar programme attracts thousands of visitors from across Scotland and beyond each year and is now regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK.

“The festival has grown larger each year and this year will see our most ambitious and creative production yet as the entire town will become a circus stage, for professional and community performers to enthral the crowds.

“Events like this are not just great for visitors but for the local economy. Last year’s event was worth more than £1.9m to the local economy as the festival hosted 34,000 people who enjoyed the fantastic parade and captivating performances. This year we aim to attract even more visitors to the town and encourage them to spend local.

“Paisley’s programme of major events has made the town one of Scotland’s key cultural destinations in recent years – and we look forward to building on that national platform with the support of our creative partners like EventScotland who continue to work with us to make this event as successful as possible.”

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 Event Scotland for this year’s event.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the Paisley Halloween Festival through its National Events Programme. The festival was a huge success in 2018 as part of the Year of Young People programme, creating opportunities for the town’s young people to be involved in the co-creation of the event while also driving significant economic impact for the local area.

“It is great to see the festival building on this legacy and delivering its biggest programme yet, with aerial performances, workshops, silent disco and the showpiece Halloween Parade, with the exciting addition of Cirque Bijou’s dark circus set to capture the imaginations of both locals and visitors alike.”

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