A FESTIVAL that attracts tens of thousands of people to a South Lakes town each year is going ahead this weekend, it has been announced.

Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival will boast stalls, music, dancing and more as the festive season returns to the town with a bang.

The Victorian-themed event was cancelled last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, with restrictions surrounding gatherings of large numbers of people making it unviable.

The feasibility of the 2021 edition of the festival had initially been uncertain, and final confirmation was withheld until this weekend.

But the organising committee has now announced it will go ahead this Saturday and Sunday.

Committee member Michelle Scrogham emphasised the importance of the festival to the town, saying it always led to a noticeable change in the mood of residents.

"Everybody just seems to be that little bit happier," she said.

"It just starts off Christmas here.

"They turn on the Christmas lights over the weekend."

Planning for the event, she says, has been taking place for most of 2021.

"We start planning back in March," she said.

"The only hold-up to the 'yes, it's actually happening' was confirmation of road closures and, also, not knowing if the Government was bringing in any restrictions."

Mrs Scrogham stressed the importance of Dick Fest to the stallholders as well, saying many of them had not traded since before the onset of the pandemic more than a year and a half ago.

The format of the festival this year will be slightly different to encourage social distancing. There will still be music and people in costume, but no parades.

Gill Benjamin, on behalf of the festival committee, took to social media on Sunday to issue the long-awaited confirmation that Dick Fest would be taking place.

"The festival committee have worked incredibly hard in difficult circumstances," she said.

"We look forward to seeing you."

Ms Benjamin said the absence of parades would help to 'improve the flow of people around the town and prevent overcrowding'.