Renfrew xmas lights 2012 crowd

Festive fun at Renfrew Christmas Lights event.

Renfrew revellers are getting set for a party when the town’s Christmas Lights Switch-on takes place on Saturday 23 November.

The popular annual event is expected to attract a big crowd to the town hall, with a day of family fun and fireworks on offer.

There will be children’s entertainment throughout the day from noon, with stilt walkers, face painters, circus performers and a puppet show.

Santa himself will be on hand to dish out presents to local youngsters in his grotto, while there will also be fun fair rides next to the High Street.

Another highlight will be a concert of traditional carols by the Renfrew Burgh Band.

The big event takes place at 5pm when Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall flicks the switch to light up the town centre, followed by a fireworks display set against the backdrop of the town hall tower.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “The Renfrew Christmas Lights Switch-on is another highlight in the area’s festive calendar.

“The day will give Renfrew its chance to shine in the festive spotlight after the event in Paisley a week before.

“Renfrew’s town hall only reopened in 2012 after a £5m revamp, and events like this allow everybody to take advantage of the improved facilities.”

This year’s event will be bigger than before thanks to additional funding of £7,500 provided by the council’s Renfrew and Gallowhill Local Area Committee.

Councillor Eddie Grady, committee chair, said: “This annual Christmas lights event is an important day for the Renfrew community, which is why we wanted to show our support by adding extra money to the budget.

“The event is always well attended and I’m sure it will attract another good crowd on the day.”

Drivers should note there will be road closures for one hour from 4.30pm in the area around the town hall, including parts of Hairst Street, Canal Street and High Street, while the fireworks take place.

The festive fun moves on to Johnstone a week later, with the Christmas Lights Switch-on in Houstoun Square on Saturday 30 November from noon until 5pm.

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I would like to highlight Tommy McGrory from the Loud n Proud School of Rock Paisley, as a community Champion.  Tommy has been volunteering for over 25 years and for the past 12 years has been volunteering in excess of 70 hours a week on a project here in Renfrewshire.

The initial project idea was to involve young people from all over Renfrewshire in a musical performing band which would include banner and ribbon dancing cheer-leader type flag troupe.

This was a very ambitious plan, but it soon took off.  A recruitment drive was launched within the areas of highest need in Renfrewshire and work-shop sessions were set up in these communities, young people became hooked on the drum and percussion sessions and the numbers swelled.


As the project developed over the years and by responding to young peoples’ needs the Loud n Proud music project added the School of Rock element which involves young people developing their musical talents on guitar, keyboards, vocals and drums as well as engaging with young people who were starting from scratch and transforming them into Rock bands. In Addition singing lessons, rock choir and glee clubs have also been added to the already various activities. The latest development has seen Tommy take on programmes to support young people furthest from the labour market.  This all takes place at the Town centre venue above the Liberal Club High Street Paisley and the West way studio complex.

The Loud n Proud School of Rock has put on free performances all over Renfrewshire at a variety of events including switching on of the festive lights as well as performing at the annual Wickerman festival in Dumfries and the ABC in Glasgow and the towns “two rivers” festivals.

The amount of voluntary hours Tommy puts in to make sure these events happen are countless and thankless, but it doesn’t stop there.

Tommy also organised two musical show case extravaganzas at the SECC, depicting the history of the Apollo which involved over a 150 young people from all around Renfrewshire including young people from a variety of youth organizations which was seen by audiences of over 3000.

As If the Apollo idea is not a big enough project to add to Tommy’s list of jobs and things to do, Tommy also project managed a large scale and very ambitious plan which would see the Loud n Proud School of Rock transform a disused building in the middle of the Westway industrial business park formerly known as (Babcock & Willcox) into a centre of musical excellence for all budding musicians especially young people and  boasts fully equipped rehearsal studios, recording studio as well as a performance venue.

Tommy works tirelessly on all aspects of this project to make sure of its continued development and success and that the young people and all those concerned have a positive and life changing experiences.

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