Paisley town centre will host a day-long programme of entertainment this summer to celebrate Sma’ Shot Day – one of the world’s oldest worker’s festivals.
Sma’ Shot Day celebrates a 19th-century victory by the town’s weavers over their bosses in an industrial dispute. This year’s event will take place on Saturday 1st July and will see the return of the popular parade and Burning of the Cork, live performances, workshops, family entertainment and much more.
The Sma’ Shot parade will leave from Brodie Park at 12 noon, led by the familiar sound of the Charleston Drum, before making its way through Paisley town centre and finishing at Abbey Close.
This year’s parade is being co-ordinated by Bridgeman Arts in collaboration with a number of local community groups, performers and musicians with this year’s parade shining a spotlight on some of the Paisley women making waves at the time.
Once the parade reaches Abbey Close and Bridge Street people will be treated to performances from local dance group right2dance and witness the spectacle of the Burning of the Cork – a highlight of the Sma’ Shot Day celebrations.
The event will also feature performances on the main stage from PACE Youth Theatre, who will re-enact the struggles of the Paisley weavers in their efforts for payment of the Sma’ Shot, the Rock Us choir, local singer Hollie Robinson singer-songwriter Shaz Martin and the Rachel Campbell Trio ceilidh band.
There will be street performances taking place throughout the day as well as free activities for children including face painting, balloon modelling, storytelling, magic shows and arts and crafts. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a treat or two from one of the food traders that will be on site as well as.
In addition to events at Abbey Close and Bridge Street, there will be an all-day programme of live music at The Bungalow venue and the popular Poetry Slam in the late afternoon. Upcycling business Restoration and Creation on Browns Lane, which will be marking its 1st birthday that weekend, will be offering creative wares to complement the Sma’ Shot Day celebrations.
The historic Sma’ Shot Cottages will also be open for tours, where visitors can take a trip back in time to two distinctive periods of Paisley’s rich textile history and see what life was like as a weaver in the town in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Art Department will be hosting a series of creative workshops both in the run-up to and on Sma’ Shot Day itself. The ‘Join the good shout’ workshop will see local artist and historian Lil Brookes work with people to make banners and placards celebrating the workers triumph over their bosses. The Big Weave – weaving and textile workshops with Hector Dyer will give participants the chance to work on creating massive looms, weave textiles and learn about the weavers uprising of 1856.
A Sma’ Shot Feel Good Fair will also take place on the 2nd floor of The Art Department where visitors can browse and buy unique items from local creatives and try taster sessions from wellbeing practitioners.
Plus, there’s an afternoon of dancing and timeless tunes to enjoy at the Tea Dance at the Methodist Central Hall.
Sma’ Shot Day is organised by Renfrewshire Council as part of the area’s major events programme which attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Sma’ Shot Day is one of the most popular dates in Renfrewshire’s events calendar as we celebrate this important part of our town’s history.
“There’s so much for people to enjoy and get involved in this year from the spectacle of the parade and Burning of the Cork to the creative workshops, live performances and free family activities.
“This year’s event will give everyone a chance to join in the celebrations, so I’d encourage everyone to come along and join in the fun!”
Headline photo: Sma’ Shot Day 2022
Photo Credit: Renfrewshire Council