Lantern Festival Set to Blossom with ‘Into the Garden’ Theme for 2023 Procession

Ulverston Lantern Festival is set to gloriously blossom on Saturday September 16th when lantern-makers will be drawing their inspiration from everything that grows, sprouts, crawls or flies ‘Into The Garden’ which is the theme for 2023.

Organisers are expecting withy and paper lantern creations to feature everything from flowers, trees and vegetables to birds, bugs or furry visitors. If you garden delight stretches to your super shed or a gob-smacking garden gnomes collection, create it in willow withies and paper and join our procession. Or if you are passionate about your wildlife visitors from frogs to foxes, owls to otters, mice to micro-organisms, light them up in lantern form with traditional candles or multicoloured LEDs.

Lanterns Chair Chris Nelson explains: “ We try to vary the themes of the Festivals so that there is something to interest everyone and plenty of scope for creativity. Last year was very much about fantastical screen images, so for 2023 we decided to literally ground the festival with the ‘Into the Garden’ theme. Our Lanterneers have the most wonderful imaginations and extraordinary lantern-making skills, so we are expecting to see more breath-taking creations on the night.”

Four processions will start at different points around the town from 7.00pm onwards, and come together in County Square outside the Coronation Hall at 8.00pm. They will create a River of Light which winds through the streets up to Ford Park for a big firework finale starting around 9.00pm. The town centre will be closed to traffic between 7.00pm and 10.00pm. Police will help to enforce the traffic ban and anyone parked in the town centre cannot leave car parks until the police allow the streets to reopen.

A true community event, the Lantern Festival is self-funding and appreciates the support of Broughton-based education specialists CGP Books, Cater-Kwik which is hosting workshops at the Old Brewery development, Ulverston Town Council and the new Westmorland and Furness Council.

But the biggest proportion of the £10,000 needed to run the event each year comes from sales of Lantern Kits – which will start from Town Centre outlets in August – and the money collected from spectators on the night itself to ensure the continuation of Cumbria’s biggest night of free sparkling entertainment.

The event also relies heavily on volunteers to step up and help organise the procession and keep everyone safe, so the small group of organisers is hoping for an influx of new people to help run the Festival.

Chris Nelson adds: “We always need more volunteers but this year some of our regular helpers may not be available so the more new volunteers we can attract the better. It is just 3 hours on a Saturday night, but every extra person we recruit helps to ensure that that Festival survives and prospers and remains a feature of Ulverston for future generations to enjoy.

“We also hope people will generously support the event on the night; just £1 from each spectator will ensure we can run the event again next year.”

Lantern kits go on sale at the beginning of August from Appleseeds in Market Street, The Book Shack in the Market Hall, The Cumbria Way in Upper Brook Street, and Croftlands Launderette.

Lantern workshops will take place at the Old Brewery development on September 9th and 10th from 2.00pm to 6.00pm, and from 5.30pm to 8.30pm Monday (Sept 11th) through to Friday (Sept 15th).

To find out more about the festival go to the Ulverston Lantern Festival Facebook page or visit To volunteer please contact Chris Nelson on 07761 930627 or email

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