THE date for a hugely popular town lantern festival has officially been announced.

The Ulverston Lantern Festival is returning in full force on September 19 - one week later than normal to make the event more family friendly.

The organising committee decided to move the event one week later after feedback from some of the thousands of people who attend the event each year.

The later date means an earlier sunset which will allow the event to start around 30 minutes earlier than normal, and finish earlier giving families with younger children the chance to enjoy the firework finale in Ford Park.

Chris Nelson, festival committee chair, said: “We floated the idea on social media and there was huge support for a later date and an earlier start and finish.

"The new date means the processions will be starting between 7.15pm and 7.30pm and arriving at County Square around 8.00pm, before heading up to Ford Park.

"That means the finale should be all finished by 9.00pm.”

No theme has so far been selected for the 2020 event, but suggestions are already being aired via Facebook and the decision will be made at the AGM to take place in February or early March.

Mr Nelson added: “The Lantern Festival is a totally self-supporting community-based event and we are hoping to once again attract support and sponsorship from local companies and the town and district councils.

"The event attracts thousands of people to the town to see several hundred lanterns create the River of Light, and it provides a huge boost for local hospitality businesses."