More than 21,000 people headed to Paisley town centre on Saturday 16 November to mark the beginning of the festive season at the annual Christmas Lights Switch-On event.
Families enjoyed a full day of free, Christmas-themed fun, with Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron carrying out the big switch on alongside Santa and X Factor stars, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.
They were helped by 11-year-old Taylor McPherson, from St Peter’s Primary School, who won the annual Christmas card design competition.
Earlier in the day the gathered crowds marvelled as the 300-strong parade, led by Santa himself, wound its way through the streets featuring festive floats, costumed characters and choreographed displays from local community groups and professional performers.
A new addition to this year’s event – the Winter Roller Disco – proved a firm favourite with visitors with hundreds taking a spin on the rink before the day was through.
The live stage offered plenty of music and entertainment with performances from; Funbox, The Swinging Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie. A number of local community and school choirs also delighted visitors with classic carol performances in Paisley Abbey to help make everyone feel merry and bright.
Kids were given the chance to give their wish lists to Santa in his Grotto in The Piazza Shopping Centre. The Coats venue also offered plenty of activities to keep the little ones entertained. There was also a funfair, Creative Craft Trail around the town’s local cafes and businesses and Crafty Christmas Market for people to do a little Christmas shopping.
This year the lights extend to the top of the High Street leading to a giant illuminated Christmas bauble in the grounds of the Coats venue, delivered in partnership with Paisley First. The bauble will be in place throughout the festive season, offering the perfect festive selfie spot.
Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron is pictured above with 11-year-old Taylor McPherson from St Peter’s Primary School, Glenburn, Paisley who won the annual Christmas card design competition. Provost Cameron said: “The Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On is one of the big events in the winter calendar and this year didn’t disappoint with a packed programme with something for everyone. It was a great way to celebrate the start of the festive season and it was wonderful to see so many families and young people coming into the town to take part in the day. I’d like to take this chance to wish everyone a peaceful and Merry Christmas when it comes.”
The festive fun continues across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday, 23 November and Johnstone on Saturday, 30 November.
Paisley First’s WinterFest also opens in the town centre on 23 November and runs daily until December 30, except for Christmas Day and is sure to provide even more opportunities for people to spend local.