Pontefract Liquorice Festival returns
Pontefract Liquorice Festival
Preparations are underway for the return of Pontefract Liquorice Festival on Sunday 7 July.
The event, which celebrates the sweet treat, is taking place from 10am – 4pm in the town centre and Pontefract Castle.
Visitors can enjoy a tempting variety of food and drink while browsing the many food, craft and gift stalls at the street market, with musicians and street entertainers delighting the crowds throughout the day. Entertainment includes comic street theatre performances of 'Smoke' by Plunge Bloom, courtesy of the Without Walls Touring Network Partnership, along with craft activities, face painters, fairground rides, a puppet workshop, a climbing wall and much more.
At Pontefract Castle you can enjoy huge free outdoor cinema screenings of the Lego movies and an array of fun activities and workshops such as face painting, balloon modelling workshops, a hula hoop mega structure building activity, a soft play area with ball pool pit, giant rubber Lego bricks and giant Jenga, and a children's dance aerobics workshop at the Bandstand.
Visitors can travel between the town centre and the castle on the free Liquorice Land train, or they can also use the free park and ride service.
The fun and festivities at the Castle will again be spread over two days, thanks to the 'Picnic and Play' event which is held on Saturday 6 July from 10am – 4pm, and acts as the official curtain-raiser to the Liquorice Festival. Visitors are invited to pack a picnic and enjoy free fun and films throughout the day, and can also jump on a free shuttle bus travelling between the castle and Wakefield's Armed Forces Day event at Pontefract Park.
Once again there are some great fringe activities across the town centre, including at Friarwood Valley Gardens on Sunday 7, where visitors can find donkey rides, have-a-go archery, performances from the Knottingley Concert Band and the Strange-Twig Theatre Company and much more.
Cllr Jacquie Speight, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: "There's all sorts of fun planned for the festival as we celebrate Pontefract's unique association with liquorice.
"Come along and enjoy the wide variety of entertainment and browse the colourful stalls, selling a wide variety of produce – many with a liquorice twist.
"The festival is once again shaping up to be a really great day out for all the family."
The Festival, now in its 24th year, is kindly sponsored by Tangerine Confectionary. It celebrates the sweet treat which is thought to have originally been brought to the town during the Crusades by a member of the De Lacy family who built Pontefract Castle. Another theory is that it was brought by Benedictine monks in 1090. First used for medicinal purposes, it became the favourite of many a sweet lover when the famous Pomfret (Pontefract) cakes were produced.
Wakefield Council is a partner in the Without Walls Touring Network Partnership, a project that tours high-quality outdoor shows for free to towns and cities across England without regular arts activity.
For more information please visit www.experiencewakefield.co.uk/liquorice
People are invited to share their photos on the day on Facebook www.facebook.com/eventsinwakefield and on Twitter using the hashtag #liquoricefest