Lantern Festival postponed until next year

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Halloween Lanterns at the Sefton park festival © Gateacre school

Halloween Lanterns at the Sefton Park festival © Gateacre school

The annual Halloween Lantern Festival at Sefton Park has been postponed for the first time in 11 years because of a funding shortage.

The carnival hopes to be back up and running in time for the February half-term in 2016, provided its crowdfunding campaign and sponsor plea is successful.

The higher costs for this year are a result of the Liverpool Lantern Company wanting to make the event bigger, which means more security is needed to make it safe for all the festival goers.

The festival can attract crowds of up to 20,000 people, with workshops for children and a procession through Sefton Park, lit only by the lanterns that have been created especially for the carnival.

Jo Pocock, artistic director for the lantern company, said: “Every year presents new artistic challenges and as the audience has increased year on year we feel the time is right to make some changes, in order to stay true to the spirit of the event and retain the intimacy and magic of the Lantern Festival for our family-based audience.

“The challenge is that as the event and audience grows, it requires added infrastructure to keep it running safely.”

February’s festival will have an environmental theme and will be spread over three days, featuring a woodland walk and an illuminated waterway route.

Organisers have confirmed that the festival intends to return in October 2016 as a usual Halloween event.

About Hannah Rogers, JMU Journalism