THE organisers of the Ulverston Lantern Festival which each year attracts thousands of people to the town have appealed for volunteers to carry the event forward as a community venture.

The annual general meeting of the Lantern Festival takes place on Monday, January 27 at 7.30pm at the Coronation Hall in Ulverston, and the current chairman, vice chairman, secretary and treasurer are all set to stand down.

The meeting was moved forward after a special public meeting earlier this month overturned a proposal to suspend the festival for a year, and voted overwhelmingly to go ahead with the festival as planned in September.

Chris Nelson, who attended the public meeting on behalf of Ulverston Business Alliance, said: “That heartfelt support now needs to be transformed into practical help to organise and stage the Lantern Festival.

“Concerns were expressed about the heavy workload on the most active committee members, and it is hoped that the annual general meeting will see the town really get behind the Festival for 2014 with more volunteers stepping up to take positions on the committee, and also to help run the event.

“Fresh ideas voiced at the public meeting included more lantern-making sessions around the town to encourage people to take part in the procession, and investigation of any grant funding that might be available.

“The committee reported that the Festival was currently in good shape financially – but what it desperately needs is more people prepared to help in a practical way. That’s the only way the Festival can be retained as a great event which each year attracts thousands of visitors to the town.”