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Paisley and Renfrewshire looks ahead to a spring and summer of great events to enjoy
As the days get longer and the weather gets milder, it is time to think about all the wonderful and spectacular events starting in the spring into summer 2019.
The Paisley and Renfrewshire events calendar begins with the Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019, which takes place on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April 2019.
This year’s festival will also see the addition of a dedicated vegan and vegetarian zone, tasting sessions with Gin 71, interactive workshops, live music and much more.
Organisers are teaming up with Renfrewshire Branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) to host a dedicated Beer Tent at the event with a range of craft conditioned ales and craft beers available. With Paisley Town Hall now closed for a £22m makeover as a world-class events and concert venue, there will no CAMRA organised Paisley Beer Festival, which has been in Paisley Town Hall since 1986.
Members of the Renfrewshire Branch CAMRA will be putting on a ‘mini-festival’ in a large marquee to keep the spirit of the annual real ale festival going.
Paisley has won the rights to host the British Pipe Band Championships – one of the most prestigious events in the world piping calendar – until 2021, having also hosted the event for the past three years.
Up to 130 pipe bands will compete at this year’s championships at St James playing fields in Paisley on Saturday 18 May.
Event organisers Renfrewshire Council and the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association will also be teaming up with McGill’s to provide a free shuttle bus service to take spectators to and from the event.
Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebration, which is one of the world’s oldest workers’ festivals, will take place on Saturday 6 July.
The holiday takes its name from a famous dispute between the local shawl weavers and manufacturers in the 19th century and is held on the first Saturday in July to mark the time of year when the weavers and their families would traditionally take their holidays.
The traditional Sma’ Shot parade will make its way from Brodie Park to Paisley town centre, with this year’s activities taking place around Paisley Arts Centre, Witherspoon Street and Shuttle Street – where the town’s historic Sma’ Shot Cottages can be found.
The annual Renfrew and Barshaw Gala Days will also take place on Sunday 2 and Saturday 22 June.
Renfrewshire’s major events generated almost £5m for the local economy in 2018 and saw total attendance figures of over 160,000.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Renfrewshire has firmly established itself as a key destination on Scotland’s events map over the past few years, which is testament to the high quality and wide appeal of the area’s annual events programme.
“The major events calendar will continue to go from strength to strength with a host of must-see events in 2019 – from a food and drink extravaganza and one of the world’s biggest piping events to free family fun in our communities.
“Renfrewshire’s events programme is a key part of a wider plan to attract visitors and drive footfall to our town centres and villages – and we hope that 2019 will be our best year yet.”
Karen Moore of Renfrewshire Branch CAMRA said: “We are delighted to be working with Renfrewshire Council to provide a dedicated Renfrewshire CAMRA Beer Tent at this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival.
“The Beer Tent will feature a large variety of craft conditioned ales and craft beers, including vegan options, for those attending the event.
“We look forward to welcoming familiar faces to the Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 and would encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the full two-day experience in April.”
Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Paisley again to bring the British Championships to the town for another three-year run.
“Paisley is a popular venue with the bands for its central location, transport links and the many excellent options available locally to stay overnight and to enjoy a meal or a drink.”
“This is the first of the annual majors and many of the world’s best bands will be competing – for anyone who hasn’t been before, my message would be come along on the day and enjoy some top-class piping and drumming.”