38,000 lead charge of the lights brigade

shops cashed in as more than 38,000 revellers packed a town centre for a Christmas lights switch-on party headlined by girl band Stooshe.

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Organisers in Paisley were delighted with the turn-out, which saw the huge crowd bring their spending power to shops for the second Saturday in a row, following on from last week's fireworks extravaganza.

But the money-spinning event was put in doubt at 1am on Saturday after a part of the main stage was damaged as it was being installed. Council staff worked though the night to secure a replacement stage and then install it.

Renfrewshire Council said people were out in force from the start of the day, thanks to a parade by Santa and his reindeer, followed by family favourites The Singing Kettle, who entertained youngsters from the big stage, while Radio Clyde DJ Gina McKie kept things going smoothly.

A Christmas farmers' market and craft fair also proved popular and the audience continued to grow throughout the day, enjoying performances by The Red Hot Chilli Pipers and the grand finale by Stooshe.

The headliners were joined on stage by Renfrewshire Council Provost Anne Hall and Katie Wallace, a pupil at St Peter's Primary, Glenburn, to switch on the lights.

Provost Hall said: "Paisley has enjoyed two major successive events that have enhanced its reputation as a place to enjoy an all-day party atmosphere with something for everyone."

For the first time the main performances were all funded through private sponsorship.

ewan.fergus@eveningtimes.co.uk

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