Thousands turned out to enjoy a day of fantastic live entertainment at Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations on Saturday.

The event is one of the world’s oldest workers’ festivals and celebrates the famous victory of Paisley’s weavers in a 19th century industrial dispute.

The fun began with the popular Sma’ Shot parade which was co-ordinated by Bridgeman Arts in collaboration with a number of local community groups, performers and musicians. This year’s parade highlighted some of the Paisley women who were making waves at the time and featured colourful performers, floats and costumes led by the Charleston Drum – which made its way from Brodie Park to the town centre.

Once it arrived at the main event site at Abbey Close and Bridge Street, visitors were treated to a performance from local dance group right2dance and the traditional Burning of the Cork – a highlight of the Sma’ Shot Day celebrations, was introduced by spoken word artist and Tannahill makar Shaun Moore.

Abbey Close played host to a full afternoon of entertainment on the live stage with performances from PACE Youth Theatre, who re-enacted 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 was also plenty of free, fun family activities on offer to keep everyone entertained from face painting and balloon modelling to storytelling, magic shows and arts and crafts.

The Sma’ Shot Feel Good Fair which took place at The Art Department gave visitors the chance to browse and buy unique items from local creatives and try taster sessions from wellbeing practitioners. While others participated in the ‘Join the good shout’ banner making workshops and The Big Weave – weaving and textile workshops with Hector Dyer.

The Bungalow venue staged a jam-packed programme of live entertainment throughout the afternoon, including the popular Poetry Slam, while the historic Sma’ Shot Cottages opened its doors for visitors to take a trip back in time through Paisley’s rich weaving history.

Sma’ Shot Day is organised by Renfrewshire Council as part of the area’s major events programme.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Sma’ Shot Day is always a popular family day out and this year was no exception. It was wonderful to see the town so vibrant and busy with people celebrating this very important part of Paisley’s history.

“Events like this not only attract people into the town but also help us tell our unique story and showcase the creative talents of the people and groups operating throughout Renfrewshire.”

Photo: Giant puppet in parade on Paisley High Street

Photo: Giant puppet in town centre parade

Photo: Charleston Drummer Tony Lawler and parade participants

Photo: Renfrewshire Young Carers in Parade

Photo: Kids take part in craft activities

Photo: PACE actors

Photo: Artists take part in a Poetry Slam

Photo: Provost – Lorraine Cameron and Charleston Drummer – Tony Lawler

Photo: Right2dance

Photo: Performers pose with young girls

With thanks to Renfrewshire Council for Sma’ Shot 2023 photographs

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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