Renfrewshire Council

Paisley gears up to host Halloween Festival spectacular

Paisley is preparing to welcome tens of thousands of visitors as its annual Halloween Festival - one of the biggest and best of its kind in the UK - returns this weekend.

The free-to-attend family event takes place from Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 October (6 to 9pm each night) and will take over the town centre, against the stunning backdrop of Paisley's Abbey 

It includes the return of live performances for the first time since 2019, plus spectacular aerial acrobatics and specially-created installations, on the theme of 'heroes, myths and legends'. 

We are delivering the event in partnership with internationally-recognised circus performance specialists Cirque Bijou, and supported by EventScotland's National Events Programme, in celebration of Scotland's Year of Stories 2022. 

What's happening on the night

You can see full programme information and timings, as well as road closure and parking details, on the PaisleyIs website

Highlights you can look forward to include:

- spooky installations including a giant arachnabot spider with creepy spider's lair, a fire-breathing dragon, and an interactive walk-through fire garden; 

- a spectacular good-v-evil superhero battle on the roof of the town's Piazza shopping centre and on a 20ft digital wall, staged by Scotland's leading aerial performance specialists All or Nothing; 

- cult-inspired mobile dance performance by award-winning theatre-makers Megahertz, plus giant eerie illuminated digital face puppets wandering the streets; 

- live performances from returning festival favourites Spark! LED Drummers and the flame-throwing Pyro-Celtica; 

- superhero-inspired arts and crafts workshops and character meet 'n' greet; 

- spoken word projections on a giant video wall, carnival rides, choir performances, food stalls including marshmallow fire pits, and loads more for all the family. 

Unlike previous years, the event does not include a parade - instead the performances listed above will be taking place at various times and locations on each of the three nights. 

Large parts of the programme have been co-produced with local cultural and community groups, supported by Future Paisley, the ambitious council-led programme which is using the town's unique cultural and heritage story to transform its future. 

What's been said about it?

Renfrewshire Council head of marketing, communications and events Louisa Mahon said: "We are delighted to welcome back Paisley Halloween Festival, which has grown over the years into one of the country's must-see events of its kind. 

"The festival is designed as a free family night out, and with a packed and varied programme of activity taking place across the town centre each night, there's something for everyone to enjoy. 

"We are also delighted to offer a platform to develop and showcase the talents of the many wonderful creative and cultural groups in Renfrewshire who co-produced this programme. 

"We are ready and waiting to welcome the tens of thousands of visitors expected over the three days and we hope you will enjoy everything Paisley and its traders have to offer." 

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: "EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the return of Paisley Halloween Festival through our National Events Programme and in celebration of Scotland's Year of Stories.  

"Events play an important role in our communities by offering us the chance to come together and share memorable experiences.  The Paisley town centre is the perfect stage for the Halloween Festival, offering an array of live performances and installations for all to enjoy across three fun filled nights." 

Article added: Tuesday 25 October 2022