New pipe band contest forms part of fresh events schedule in Renfrewshire

A new pipe band contest is set to be held in Renfrew as part of the council’s fresh programme of events for 2022.

The competition is scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 23, in Robertson Park, a week before the Scottish Championships are due to take place in Dumbarton.

It’s hoped the Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band will feature as they aim to get back to competing after a drought of contests in recent times.

It will form part of a series of exciting events lined up in the region for this year as a sense of normality finally looks set to return after two years of pandemic restrictions.

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Since the coronavirus crisis struck in 2020, most council- run events in Renfrewshire – such as Sma’ Shot Day and the Paisley Hallowe’en Festival – have either had to move online or take a completely different form to comply with public health advice.

But according to papers prepared for a Leadership Board meeting this week, officers are hoping they can get a fuller programme of events off the ground in 2022.

Councillor John Shaw, who represents Renfrew, said he has been waiting to see a pipe band contest in the town for quite some time.

“I’m extremely excited to see the council leadership board papers which propose a new Renfrew pipe band competition to be held in Robertson Park in July this year, adding to what is shaping up to be a great summer in the park,” he said.

“I’ve been pushing to see this type of event held in the park since being elected in 2017 and after a couple of false starts over the past couple of years, it’s great to see it finally come to fruition.

“Hopefully, we’ll see Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band as they get back into competitive mode after a competition-free couple of years due to Covid.

“It should be a great day out and being the week before the Scottish Championships we may see some of the big names there.”

While a more normal programme is expected to be delivered, bosses will still be faced with having to strip back some events due to coronavirus.

According to board papers, there is no insurance on the market to protect the council against Covid cancellations, so events like the Hallowe’en festival will continue to be held in a revised format this year to limit the financial risk.

Elsewhere in the schedule, an open-air event called Unboxed: Creativity in the UK will be taking place from March 1 to 6 in Paisley as part of a UK-wide festival.

A 25-minute show called About Us will be on outside Paisley Abbey which will feature live performances and multimedia installations to celebrate the entire history of the universe.

Foodies will once again have a field day on the weekend of April 29 and 30 when the Paisley Food Festival is due to return.

Gala days in Renfrew and Paisley’s Barshaw Park are set to make a comeback on June 5 and 18 respectively while traditional weavers’ festival Sma’ Shot Day will be back in Paisley on July 2.

Doors Open Day and The Spree music festival are scheduled for September, while preparations will be made for the Wee Spree and a Hallowe’en festival to take place in October.

Remembrance events are lined up for November and Christmas activities will be organised in December in Paisley, Renfrew and Johnstone.

Going into next year, there are still plans in place to hold the Royal National Mod – a touring Gaelic festival – in October in Paisley.

It is anticipated some events will require visitors to prove their Covid-19 vaccination status.

The programme will be discussed and agreed by the Leadership Board on Wednesday.

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Daily Record – Paisley