Galoshans in Greenock this weekend

This weekend's Galoshans festival in Greenock will include a recreation of the town's Victorian tower made from cardboard bricks.

This weekend's Galoshans festival in Greenock will include a recreation of the town's Victorian tower made from cardboard bricks.

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The Rothesay Pavilion Charity is organising a day trip this Saturday to an innovative new festival in Greenock.

The Galoshans festival, taking place from October 30 to November 1, combines street theatre, music, performance, dance, video and visual art on the streets of the town.

Galoshans is an old Scots word for ‘guising’, and all those going along to see what it’s about are being encouraged to wear fancy dress for the occasion.

The people of the west of Scotland used to celebrate Galoshans by visiting each others’ houses and performing a Galoshans play. If it was well received they might receive a ‘treat’, and it is this practice which is credited as the origin of the American ‘trick or treating’ at Halloween.

Highlights of the weekend will include The People’s Tower, a recreation of Greenock’s Victoria Tower built by festival-goers from cardboard bricks (pictured); a local artists’ studio trail; the Pink Invaders; and a Halloween Parade, followed by a festival finale, when the People’s Tower will be toppled.

Stuart Thomas, the Rothesay pavilion Charity’s development officer, said: “In order to take part and to catch the very special festival train we’ll be meeting at the ferry at 10.45am in order to catch the 11.05am ferry and then the 12.24pm train, and we’d love you to join us for a day’s adventures.”

The weekend’s events are coordinated and programmed by UZ Arts (www.uzarts.com) who have invited some of Europe’s most spectacular artists and performers to collaborate with communities and create work that looks at what happens when two worlds touch.

Many of the weekend’s events are completely free of charge and in the tradition of Galoshans will be happening on the streets and squares of Greenock and will certainly be family and child friendly. Others will be ticketed events happening in Greenock’s venues.

More details of the festival and the full programme are available at www.galoshans.com.