Paisley Halloween Festival

By | Category: Travel destinations

Paisley fun – “Pumpkins on stilts.” Image © Paisley is.

In case you’ve not noticed Halloween is coming up. Since fancy dress and other Halloween items have been in the shops for so long it is easy to forget that there is actually an end date.

When I was a child, Halloween didn’t exist. All we knew about it was watching American television programmes. I didn’t even know of its Celtic origins until much later. I’m not even sure when it began to become an “event” in the UK so that, today, it carries an importance for the tourism industry.

Almost any place in the UK and Ireland will have some local event planned but many will not be as big or as popular as the parade that the Scottish town of Paisley enjoys. There some 30,000 people are expected to turn up tomorrow, Saturday, to watch aerial displays, giant floats and a ghoulish wonderland. Some seven hundred people will be involved in the parade which is inspired by the town’s dark 17th century history, with Paisley the site of the last mass witch execution in western Europe.

The immersive parade will see the young people and performers pass through Paisley in costume, with this year’s festival featuring four new ‘mega- floats’ including a giant four metre animatronic ‘Witch and Cauldron’ and Day of the Dead’ funeral scene.

Other highlights include the entire town being taken over by light installations, haunting soundscapes and aerial acrobatic performances suspended 120 feet in the air against the backdrop of Paisley’s 850-year old Abbey.

The festival, supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of Visit Scotland’s Events Directorate which reinforces the fact that Halloween is increasingly being seen as a tourist draw.

Halloween is supposed to be celebrated on the last day of the month but given that it falls in the middle of the week and that Halloween is, today, a children’s themed event, most celebrations will take place this weekend. Next Wednesday all you have to concern yourself with is whether you have enough packets of sweets to give to those who might come trick or treating.

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