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 6th 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 highlighting some of the performers and characters who might have appeared at Paisley Fair at the time.

Once the parade reaches Abbey Close and Bridge Street people will 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 RockUs choir, cover band Proposal, Sharon Martin, Evelyn Laurie and Caitlin Bonner Dance Company.

There will be street performances taking place throughout the day as well as free activities for children including face painting, inflatables, arts and crafts and a sports day hosted by Furry Murry’s Adventure Playground. OneRen’s Skoobmobile will also be at the event with lots of fun, games and summer reading.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy a treat or two from one of the food traders that will be on site as well.

In addition to events at Abbey Close and Bridge Street, there will be a 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 hosting the Brown Lane Makers’ Market from 12pm, featuring live music from local performers throughout the day and a variety of children’s workshops – bookable in advance.

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, and The Art Department will be hosting the Project Ability textile exhibition ‘Press, Print, Repeat’ from 10am – a tangible exploration of Renfrewshire’s diverse textile heritage by ASL pupils from Mary Russell School, Corseford School and Riverbrae School.

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 Council Events Manager Pauline Allan said: “Sma’ Shot Day is an important day for Renfrewshire where we come together and celebrate our town’s history.

“There’s so much for people to enjoy this year and we can’t wait to welcome the community for a fantastic day in Paisley Town Centre.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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