UNCERTAINTY hangs over the future of a Lake District town’s much-loved outdoor spectacular held in the run up to the festive season.

The Ambleside Christmas light and lantern parade has been entertaining thousands of gleeful visitors and residents for nearly 20 years.

However, due to its popularity and the high financial cost of running the event, the Ambleside Community Christmas Lights Committee has appealed to the wider public and local businesses in a bid to keep the popular festival running.

In March, South Lakes businesses were alerted of the committee’s plea for help and since then the committee has received more than £1,000 in donations.

In addition, the Lakes Parish Council has kindly doubled its grant of £2,500 to £5,000 to the cause.

However, Stacy Hurley, the project co-ordinator, said this year the event was expected to cost in the region of £27,000.

She said that last year there was around £1,000 left over from the parade but it would not be enough to cover the maintenance costs.

This included replacing LED lights, which cost £3 per bulb - and there are around 2,800 LED bulbs needed to light up the town for Christmas.

A meeting is due to be held on August 1, where a decision will be made on whether the lights parade can go ahead.

Lakes Parish Council clerk Michael Johnson said it would be extremely sad for the community if the festive event did not go ahead.

“We are fully supportive of the committee,” he said.

“The council has doubled its grant especially for the event this year in order to cater to the high demands.

“But it would be greatly saddening if it doesn’t go ahead.”

The support the committee needs was not just money, said Mrs Hurley.

She stressed that the event took a lot of manpower both in the lead up and over the weekend and due to how popular the event had grown over the years, extra pairs of hands would be greatly appreciated.

That could be putting up gazebos, dressing up as festive characters throughout the day, marshalling the parade or litter picking the following day.

At last year’s event, travellers, including Father Christmas, were late to the parade due to emergency roadworks being carried out on the A591, which caused severe delays on the roads around the town.

To help the appeal email amblesidelights@btinternet.com.