Paisley Halloween Festival

Friday 30 - Saturday 31 October, 2020

Renfrewshire Council has announced that all large-scale Council-run events will be cancelled until the end of October in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision means that the following events will no longer take place: Renfrew Gala Day; Barshaw Gala Day; Johnstone Fire Engine Rally; Renfrewshire Doors Open Days; The Spree festival; and Paisley Halloween Festival.

Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations will be marked this year – but in a different way. A programme of online events will take place on Saturday 4 July to commemorate the historic victory of local weavers, as well as the invaluable contribution of today’s key workers across Renfrewshire.

All Council-run events after October will continue to be reviewed in line with national guidance from the Scottish Government and public health advice, with a further decision on the staging of Paisley Fireworks Spectacular and the Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew Christmas lights switch-on events expected by June 30.

The Council announced in March that its spring/summer events programme, including the Paisley Food and Drink Festival and the British Pipe Band Championships in Paisley, had been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are hugely disappointed to have to announce this news today but, given the ongoing public health and government advice, it’s the safe and prudent action to take.

“Since we announced the cancellation of our spring/summer programme, festivals and events in the UK and further afield scheduled up until October have continued to be cancelled. The current advice on mass gatherings and events is expected to be in place for some months to come, along with significant physical distancing restrictions.

“Our events programme is regarded among the highlights in Renfrewshire’s annual calendar – and we’re rightly proud of the economic and social impact it brings for our communities. As with many of our Council services, and sectors of our local economy, we want to be in a position to restart and support recovery as soon as possible – but only when the public health advice recommends it is safe to do so.

“Despite the cancellation of our large-scale events until the end of October, we will still celebrate Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day – but in a different way. The online programme of events will allow us to honour the historic victory of local weavers and thank the key workers in Renfrewshire today, who are doing a fantastic job on the frontline to support us all during this unprecedented time.”

Renfrewshire Council is continuing to plan its major events programme in Renfrewshire for next year, whilst monitoring the latest government and public health advice.

The Council advises everyone to continue to follow the national guidance on coronavirus set out by the Scottish Government and to consult www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus for up to date medical advice.

For the latest local updates, visit our ‘Information, help and guidance on Coronavirus’ webpage here: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.

We have some amazing workshop leaders and are looking for local schools, groups and individuals to work with to make this years festival the spookiest yet.

Julian Bracey
Artistic Director of Cirque Bijou

It’s been a lot of fun taking part and I’ve had the opportunity to do things I would never have thought of. It’s good to be challenged and learning new skills has made me feel more confident. I’ve also made lots of new friends.

Patrick Docherty
Participant, 16

The festival provided so many fantastic opportunities for young people to show us what they are made of and those involved should be very proud of what they have achieved.

Paul Bush
OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events

This year’s Halloween Festival was our biggest and most spectacular to date and is now viewed as one of the top events of its kind nationwide.


Louisa Mahon
Renfrewshire Council’s Head of Communications, Marketing and Events

It’s been wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves in Paisley town centre during the two days of free events, while the festival itself has created amazing opportunities for our young people.

Iain Nicolson
Renfrewshire Council Leader