Paisley’s annual Halloween Festival returns this weekend.
Taking place on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October, it has a Dark Circus theme for 2019, promising plenty of chills and thrills for visitors.
One of the largest festivals of its kind in the UK, this year’s event promises to be the biggest and best yet with internationally acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou, helping to transform the entire town centre into the perfect Halloween playground.
The two-day spectacular, which routinely attracts tens of thousands to the town, will serve up a whole host of frighteningly fun, free activities for everyone to enjoy with the entire town serving as the stage.
The main spectacle of the festival is the carnival-style Halloween Parade which takes place on the Saturday and will see more than 300 costumed performers and community groups led through the town by the sinister Svengali ringmaster. The parade has a new, extended route for 2019 taking over the entire town centre and will boast magnificent floats and ferocious fire performers, creepy clowns and curious creatures, along to thrilling live music.
Immediately following the parade, no matter where visitors are positioned around the town centre, there will be something to see or experience as a series of live acts and activities will restart.
Aerial artists, All or Nothing, will also perform their death-defying act ‘Into the Dark’, which will see the artists circle and swirl around the haunted carousel over the grounds of the town’s iconic Abbey.
A new addition to this year’s festival is the ticketed spooky silent disco. Held in the heart of the town the disco is sure to deliver plenty of dancing, singing and Halloween fun for all the family.
The weekend will offer plenty of opportunities to join in the fun with a range of family-focussed Halloween-themed arts and crafts activities and workshops including pumpkin carving. Street theatre acts and walkabout performances will pop up around the town centre featuring the likes of the Spark LED Drummers and Mr Wilson’s Second Liners as well as acrobatic and hula hoop artists. There will also be a creative craft trail in a number of local cafes where visitors can do everything from building a bug to creating their very own gargoyle from clay.
Louisa Mahon, head of marketing, communications and events at Renfrewshire Council, said: ‘The annual Paisley Halloween Festival is always a highlight in our events calendar. Our increasingly ambitious programme attracts thousands of visitors each year and is now regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK.
‘The festival has really cemented the town’s position as a key destination for visitors and is great for the local economy, with last year’s event worth more than £1.9m to the town and attracting 34,000 people. This year we aim to attract even more visitors to enjoy fabulous performances taking place across the town from high wire acts to the spectacular parade, and to sample our great selection of cafes, restaurants and shops.’
The Paisley Halloween Festival, which was supported in 2018 through the Year of Young People event fund, was awarded £16,950 of National Programme funding from EventScotland for this year’s event.
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: ‘The Paisley Halloween Festival continues to go from strength to strength and it is hugely exciting to see it sporting its biggest ever programme for 2019.
‘This year’s exciting and innovative programme will no doubt engage audiences of all ages with aerial performances, arts & crafts activities, outdoor street theatre and the stunning Halloween Parade. Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and the festival is a great boost for Paisley, drawing thousands of visitors and locals alike to the town centre to enjoy this spectacular annual celebration.’
To find out more about Paisley Halloween Festival visit www.paisley.is/halloween