Renfrewshire leisure has revealed for this year’s winter events season in Paisley – with Northern Irish rockers Ash set to headline the town’s annual Christmas Lights Switch On.
Paisley’s winter events programme will begin with the two-day Halloween Festival on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th October. The special 80’s themed Paisley Fireworks Spectacular will take place on the Saturday 4nd November with the ever-popular Christmas Lights Switch On taking place two weeks later on Saturday 18th November.
Winter events excitement will extend across Renfrewshire with live music and free family entertainment taking place at Christmas Lights Switch Ons in Renfrew on Saturday 25 November and Johnstone on Saturday 2nd December. The annual MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards comes to Paisley for the first time ever and will be held at Paisley Town Hall on Saturday 2nd December.
Programme highlights include:
- the spooktacular Halloween Parade through Paisley town centre with a stunning fire monster on a Paisley Chariot, New Orleans style street band Mr Wilson’s Second Liners Band, the Spark! Drummers and much more.
- a spectacular Fire Garden and Fire Stage at Bridge Street with soundscapes, projections and illuminations to make for a real extravaganza of sight and sound in Abbey Close.
- a night of music, haunted performers and spooky goings-on with a Halloween Ball at Paisley Town Hall and Friday Fright Night at Paisley Museum, organised by Renfrewshire Leisure.
- an 80s themed Silent Disco in Paisley Town Hall during the afternoon and broadcast from Clyde One DJs in the evening ahead of the Paisley Fireworks Spectacular at Abbey Close.
- The famous Reindeer Parade starting and finishing on Paisley High Street before Santa opens his grotto outside the Paisley Centre.
- a Live Stage with performance by music headliners Ash before Paisley’s festive season is officially marked with the annual Christmas Lights Switch On.
The winter season is part of a wider programme of events in Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.
Paisley was this summer named as the only Scottish location on the shortlist for the title, alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.
The bid is part of a wider push to use Paisley’s unique heritage and cultural story to transform the future of the whole Renfrewshire area, with the final bid document due to be submitted to the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at the end of the month.
Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The Halloween Festival, Fireworks Spectacular and Christmas Lights Switch On are established favourites in the town’s events calendar – and this year Paisley’s winter events programme is even bigger and better than ever.
“One of the key aims of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is to showcase the town’s proven track record in hosting a diverse range of major cultural activities and the winter events programme highlights just that.”
Tim Wheeler, frontman of Ash, said: “We’re really looking forward to playing Paisley for the switching on of the Christmas lights this year. Hopefully our tunes will get the elves dancing and the Christmas spirit flowing.”
Santa Claus, who visited the town for the launch of Paisley’s winter events programme, is looking forward to the Christmas Lights Switch On and said: “It will be a happy, wonderful occasion. Paisley’s real strength is its great people and I know they’ll turn out to see me and enjoy the night.”
Gerry Lyons, DJ for the 80s themed Silent Disco and family fun at the Fireworks Spectacular, said: “The eighties was a great decade for music and I’ll be playing everything from classic pop like Wham through to power ballads and iconic tunes like Michael Jackson’s thriller. The silent disco will see people in the room listen to different music through head phones, so they’re dancing to different tunes and it’s great fun.”