Paisley’s popular Sma’ Shot Day event takes place on Saturday with a day-long programme of entertainment to mark one of the world’s oldest worker’s festivals.
The event begins at 12 noon where the popular Sma’ Shot Day parade will leave Brodie Park, led by the familiar sound of the Charleston Drum, and make its way through Paisley town centre, finishing at Abbey Close.
Sma’ Shot Day celebrates a 19th-century victory by the town’s weavers over their bosses in an industrial dispute.
This year’s parade, which is being co-ordinated by Bridgeman Arts in collaboration with a number of local community groups, performers and musicians, will shine a light on some of the Paisley women who were making waves at the time.
Once the parade reaches Abbey Close and Bridge Street spectators 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 – which will be introduced by spoken word artist and Tannahill makar Shaun Moore.
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 tasty treat from one of the food traders that will be on site.
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 at the 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 workshops on the day. 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 join in a mass public weaving session from 11am till 3pm.
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 from 1.30pm – 4pm.
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 always a great day out. Not only does it offer a fantastic range of activities for families but it’s a vibrant celebration of our town’s history.
“This year’s event will give everyone a chance to join in the celebrations, from the ever-popular parade and Burning of the Cork to the creative workshops, live performances and free family activities.
“Sma’ Shot Day is always a sure sign that summer has arrived, so come along and join in the fun!”