Kendal Torchlight Carnival

A Small Town Carnival with a big crowd   

The Kendal Torchlight festival is a large evening event in the Lake District…more specifically Kendal.

It usually attracts over 25,000 people from all over the country. Since the beginning the carnival attracts tens of thousands of spectators who line the streets of Kendal to witness the colourful procession of bands, floats, vintage tractors, carnival performers and dance troupes winding its way through Kendal. The Torchlight Carnival promotes the best of Kendal and, over the last 47 years, has enabled the chosen charities to collect many tens of thousands of pounds towards their worthy causes. Each year Torchlight has a different theme, in 2015 it was ‘Think Big’and this years theme was ‘Celebrating Kendal’s Spirit’.

This year the Torchlight happened on the 9th of September the day after The Westmorland County Show, and it was a VERY wet night! The route for the parade begins at Kirkbie Kendal School at 7:30pm and the route takes in Lound Road, Aynam Road, Miller Bridge, New Road, Stramongate, Blackhall Road, Sandes Avenue, Stricklandgate, Highgate, Kirkland, Nether Bridge and back to Lound Road.

The 2015 event raised £3273 for charity with St John’s Hospice, South Lakeland Mind, Manna House, Alzheimers Society South Lakes receiving £646 each, with the balance going towards the 2016 event. Let hope this years event raised more money for the charities. On September 10th the carnival organisers also hosted a street party in Kendal town centre, with the attractions including carnival arts performances, a dance stage and samba workshop, as well as Lakeland Radio being there.

This years Torchlight also was significant to me because I was in it!! For the first time, me, my sister Fiona, and my father Dave, drove our family’s Fordson tractors round torchlight. My father has transformed and restored these tractors, and now they are like new. He’s done a brilliant job on them and it was a proud feeling driving the Fordson Dexta. 

Read the Westmorland Gazette review of the night HERE (Notice my dad & Debbie pictured?)


Fordson Major , Fordson Dexta, Fordson Major


Parked up at the college ready to set off once others arrive


The Tractor I drove, Fordson Dexta


My Sister -Fiona in the torchlight. (Photo Credit: Cathy Hignett)

There were over 70 vintage vehicles in the Torchlight that night. By the time we drove back home, we were soaked to the skin just about! I mean I was pretty soaked before we even set off round! However, it was a great experience and its a great carnival for locals and tourists who can bring there families along to watch.

You never know we might even do it again…and hope for better weather!