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Christmas celebrations may look a little bit different this year – but people in Renfrewshire are being invited to come together and spread some festive cheer from the comfort of home with a special online event this weekend.

The Light Up Renfrewshire event will take place on Saturday 12 December at 7pm and will be available to view online on the Paisley.is Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/paisleyis

With everyone doing their best to stay at home as much as they can right now, the magical online event will showcase spectacular footage of the Christmas lights on display across Renfrewshire’s towns and villages for viewers to enjoy.

The stunning light displays will be accompanied by music performances from top local acts, festive messages from some special Christmas guests and much more.

Organised by Brick Lane Media and Renfrewshire Council, the Light Up Renfrewshire event will be held online to ensure that Christmas celebrations in the area can still take place this year, in adherence with national guidance and local coronavirus restrictions.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said: “It barely feels like a year ago that we were gathered in our towns and villages to switch on the Christmas lights in 2019. While this year has been unlike any we could have anticipated, I am delighted that we can still get together virtually to mark the festive season with this fantastic online event.

“Christmas can be a difficult time for many people, and it is important that we remember to be kind to each other and help to spread some festive cheer where we can.

“That’s why I am encouraging everyone to join me by logging on for Saturday’s Light Up Renfrewshire event and getting in the festive spirit with amazing musical performances and heart-warming messages – as well as the chance to see our stunning Christmas lights on full display.

“It’s also a great opportunity to extend a special thank you to all NHS staff and key workers across Renfrewshire for their hard work and energy that has gone in to keeping us all safe this year and over the festive period.”

Alan McEwan, director of Brick Lane Media, said: “Brick Lane Media and The Bungalow Community Interest Company are delighted to be involved with the Light Up Renfrewshire online event. It has given local entertainers the chance to showcase their work during these times and, at the same time, offer everyone in the community the opportunity to see the Christmas lights installations across every town and village in Renfrewshire.

“It has been fantastic to see how everyone involved has adapted in their settings – in schools, businesses and the entertainment industry. The use of digital technology has helped everyone to continue life as normally as possible, letting everyone see what is happening in their communities. Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2021.”

Residents are also being encouraged to get involved and spread some festive cheer by sharing pictures of their Christmas lights and household decorations on social media by using the hashtag #LightUpRenfrewshire.

As well as the online event on Saturday 12 December, there will be plenty of opportunities for families to enjoy festive fun in the run-up to Christmas with online activities, including arts and craft ideas, videos, blogs and more.

In addition, children and families will be able to enjoy festive fun while exploring their town centre safely with Christmas Spirit Trails in Johnstone and Renfrew, which will run from Saturday 12 December until Sunday 3 January. People are reminded to follow the national guidance for travel purposes.

By using your phone camera, families can hunt down and scan ten special Christmas characters, which will be on display in shop windows around the town centre, before accessing an eBook to learn more about the characters’ adventures.

There’s also plenty of activity to enjoy during the festive season with local business improvement district Paisley First, including the Christmas Buddie Bear Hunt around businesses in Paisley town centre and online Advent Calendar competition.

For more information on the Light Up Renfrewshire online event and more ways to enjoy Christmas at home, please visit https://paisley.is/discover/christmas-at-home/