It’s his busiest time of year, so no wonder Santa Claus was spotted getting ship shape for Paisley’s Christmas Lights Switch-On.

The big man checked out the Abbey and Town Hall ahead of the event on Saturday 17 November in Paisley town centre.

Santa himself needs to look his best and so his famous white beard was given a timely trim, and he popped into Houston Kiltmakers in Paisley for a new belt.

He also found time to enjoy a mince pie and catch up on local news ahead of the festive cracker, as well as indulging in a bit of his own Christmas shopping.

His reindeer weren’t forgotten as he stocked up on armfuls of carrots for his faithful friends. They will take part in a glittering parade along with hundreds of tinsel-clad youngsters and of course, Santa Claus himself, which will wind through the town from 1.30 – 2.15pm.

There will be activities galore for children and families from 12pm, including a funfair and storytelling igloo, with Santa’s Grotto, face painting and Christmas crafts in the Paisley Centre and a dedicated Kids Zone in Paisley Town Hall.

For anyone with a sweet tooth who is aged five and upwards, Lime Tree Larder’s free chocolate making workshops are a must. Have a go at making your very own chocolate Dasher, Dancer, Prancer or Vixen and book ahead to secure your place. A food marquee on the grass at Paisley Abbey will ensure nobody goes hungry.

Christmas shopping is covered too with the town centre shops open for business and The Urban Market will be at Paisley Abbey for the very first time. Head there for original gifts and creative crafts from some of the best artists and makers in Scotland.

The main stage features entertainment from Capital FM DJs Des Clarke, Steven Hill and Garry Spence who will be on the main stage for music and chat from 1pm.

There will also be performances from family favourites Funbox, while the Princesses of Pop will pay tribute to the music of Ariana Grande and Little Mix.

X-Factor stars The Cutkelvins will play in front of a crowd of thousands before Provost Lorraine Cameron carries out the big switch on at 6pm. She will be assisted by 11-yearold Skye Thomson, from Paisley’s Heriot Primary School, who won the annual Christmas card design competition.

There is also a specially designed ‘Sensory Safe Space’ in the Town Hall for those with additional support needs and their carers, with sensory arts and crafts, musical instruments and lighting, as well as gentle music and soft seating, from 1pm. The ‘Sensory Safe Space’ 45 minute sessions are bookable via Eventbrite

The winter event thrills will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday, 24 November and Johnstone on Saturday, 1 December.

The Sma’ Shot cottage complex which showcases Paisley’s weaving heritage will also be open to visitors on the day from 12 till 4pm.

Paisley First’s WinterFest also opens in the town centre on 24 November and runs daily until December 30 except for Christmas Day.

For full details and timings on the Christmas Light Switch-On please visit: https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-christmas-lights-switch-on/

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