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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Ulverston lantern festival stays on - but help is needed

A POPULAR annual festival will light up the streets of Ulverston this year, despite fears that it might not go ahead.

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CELEBRATION The Lantern Procession makes its way across Ulverston’s Market Street. A new committee has been chosen to take the popular event forward in 2014 HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50038578B003

The procession of hundreds of paper lanterns is one of the town’s most iconic sights and a must see for any visitor.

But what most people don’t see is the countless hours of work put in by a small network of volunteers to make the annual Ulverston Lantern Festival a reality.

Now those volunteers are calling for new faces to take over the organising of the event, to make sure it goes ahead in 2014.

At a special meeting held at the Coronation Hall, the organising committee and members of the public discussed the future of the festival and the possibility of a fallow year.

The outgoing chairwoman of the Lantern Festival Committee, Ness Wilson said fresh faces were needed to breathe new life into the event.

Ms Wilson said: “When it started it was done by professional artists who created it as a community arts event.

“Since then we’ve lost a lot of skilled people who we need on the ground.

“The idea of taking a break is to have to time to focus and think about what the festival is about. Glastonbury does it and Solfest is taking a hiatus.”

But after a debate, the majority of those in attendance voted in favour of holding a festival in 2014.

Alan Brenton, of Monument Way, said: “I’ve only lived in Ulverston for three years.

“I first moved here a few months before the Lantern Festival and to me it is one of the great nights of the year.

“Once you lose something, it’s often very hard to get it back.”

The Lantern Festival Committee will now hold its AGM at 7.30pm on Monday January 27 at The Coronation Hall.

Volunteers are needed to take over the roles of chairman, vice chairman, treasurer and secretary.

Help is also required with stewarding on the night as well as promotion and fundraising for the event.

Members of the public will be able to have their say on what they would like to see at the festival and suggest ideas for this year’s theme.

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