UNCERTAINTY still shrouds the return of a hugely popular festival which traditionally attracts tens of thousands of people.

Plans are provisionally in place for the return of Dickensian Festival in Ulverston which has not been held since 2019.

Each year, streets are lined with traders and festival-goers who sport fashion items of yesteryear in celebration of all things Charles Dickens.

The Victorian-themed festival, hosted each November, was called off last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two-day event is currently due to be held on the weekend of November 27 and 28, however, organisers cannot confirm the festival's return until the Government's winter plans are set out.

Peter Winston, Dickensian Festival committee member and co-ordinator, said: "We're planning it but nothing is confirmed about what will happen at this time.

"There is still talks of more restrictions in the winter months so until we know what they are, nothing can be decided.

"Everything depends on the winter restrictions.

"Plans are in place - the stalls, entertainers, security and marquee are all booked and ready to go.

"If it does go ahead, it will probably be a slightly smaller event to discourage overcrowding and the stalls will have to be further apart - we just don't know at this stage.

"Everything is provisionally booked but nothing is set in stone.

"We're getting ready to host the event, we just can't confirm or deny whether it will go ahead at this stage.

"We may have to cancel the whole event - we just need to wait for Government advice."

Mr Winston said there is 'still an appetite' for the free event which first began in 1999.

He said: "Everyone is very keen for it to go ahead. We know that some people are coming into town dressed up regardless of whether the festival is on or not.

"Having talked to people, there's definitely still an appetite for it and we're all very much hoping it can take place.

"We're going to leave it open as long as we can. Ultimately, the decision of whether we're allowed to go ahead is down to other people."