THE countdown is on to what organisers said could be the biggest Lantern Festival procession Ulverston has seen in recent years.

Workshops have been taking place this week to create spectacular displays for the parade of light on Saturday night.

The theme is ‘Under the Sea’ and Violet Dacre, the youngest participant at workshops, chose an ambitious mermaid twice her size as her design.

The three-year-old was helped by her grandma Lisa Dacre, of Ulverston, to turn those ideas into a stunning showpiece.

Elizabeth and David Thompson from Ulverston chose a fish to create for their grandchildren, while other ideas ranged from cartoon characters, fish and jelly-fish to diver’s helmets.

A workshop takes place at the Parish Rooms on Church Walk from 5.30pm to 8.30pm and in the Coronation Hall from 4pm to 6.30pm tonight (Wednesday).

Lantern kits are on sale at the workshops for £5 each and at the Coronation Hall, Costa Coffee, the Book Shack in the Market Hall, Appleseeds, the Laurel and Hardy Museum, the Launderette at Croftlands and from 14 Moorgarth in Swarthmoor.

On Saturday there could be more than 600 lanterns in the procession around the town which this year returns to Ford Park for a triumphant finale with fabulous fireworks, live music and displays of the incredible lanterns created by supporters. Spectators can expect to see sea monsters, shipwrecks, all kinds of oceanic creatures from sharks, whales and dolphins to manta rays, crabs and other crustaceans. Deep sea divers and frogmen will parade alongside mermaids and fish men, and there may even be the occasional submarine or shipwreck.

The town centre will effectively be closed to cars and other traffic from around 6.30pm onwards until around 10pm when the crowds from Ford Park have dispersed.

Organisers of the festival are appealing for extra stewards to come forward to help direct the processions around the town.

Festival committee chair Chris Nelson said: “The amazing people of Ulverston are once again getting behind the Lantern Festival to make it another night to remember. The weather forecast is looking good for Saturday so we should have a fantastic free show and stunning fireworks display for the finale at Ford Park.

“The more people take part in and attend the Lantern Festival, the more help we need on the night to ensure everything goes smoothly. That’s why we need as many stewards as we can muster. They don’t need any previous experience – they just need to be willing to help us by giving a few hours on the night.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Chris on 07761 930627.