The Ulverston Lantern Festival is set to formally confirm its return to Ford Park for 2018 at the Festival’s annual general meeting, which will be held in the upstairs function room at Rioja on New Market Street on Tuesday 27th March – starting at 7.00pm.
The 2018 Festival will take place on Saturday, 15th September with the theme ‘Under the Sea’ and committee chair Chris Nelson is confident that the event will have its climax at Ford Park.
He explained: “The Ford Park trustees and new chief executive Jill Salmon have been very supportive of the Lantern Festival going back there, and their plans for changes to make the the entrance gateway bigger should alleviate any safety concerns about getting the thousands of Lanterneers in and out of the park. The changes need to go through the formal planning process, but we are hopeful that the work can be completed in time for the Festival to go ahead.”
In 2017, concerns about access and exit arrangements led to the Festival finale taking place in the centre of Ulverston. The event was hugely successful with hundreds of people joining the parade through town and thousands of spectators attending, but the organisers recognise that Ford Park is the natural home for the Lantern Festival finale.
Chris Nelson added: “Residents within the town centre were very patient and supportive but it was not an ideal solution and meant a lot of extra work for the organising team. We are now looking forward to returning the Festival to Ford Park for another fantastic spectacle created around our ‘Under the Sea’ theme for 2018.”
The annual general meeting will include elections to the Festival committee and a financial report on the event. The organisers are hoping for a good turnout of people prepared to help organise the Festival and the workshops leading up to it.
Chris said: “Holding the AGM in the function room at the Rioja bar – in the former HSBC bank building on New Market Street – may encourage more people to attend, and we very much appreciate the owners making the space available to us.”
“The Lantern Festival simply cannot happen without people being prepared to give up their time to help with the organisation right throughout the year, as well as on the night itself. So, we are optimistic that there will be lots of new faces at the AGM to ensure that the Lantern Festival continues in the future.”
If you would like to know more about the Ulverston Lantern Festival, or would like to help with the organisation of this year’s event, contact ULF group on 07761930627 or visit the website: ulverstonlanternfestival.org