Thousands enjoy Pontefract Liquorice Festival


Ref: PR 8282

Pontefract Liquorice Festival was a sweet success at the weekend as thousands flocked to the annual event.

The family-friendly festival attracted 35,000 people to celebrate the town's famous treat with a range of activities including a liquorice jewellery making workshop, face painting, balloon modelling, street entertainment, sweetshop clowns and allsorts stilt walkers.

The town played host to over 80 stalls selling food, drink and crafts with unusual products including liquorice beer, pies, toffee, fudge, tea, cupcakes and chutneys. 

Cllr Les Shaw, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, who opened the event, said: "The Festival was a huge success, and I'm so pleased that in its 21st year so many of the district's residents and visitors joined in the celebration of our heritage and had fun."

The festival celebrates Pontefract's historic association with the Middle Eastern plant. 

It is thought that liquorice may 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. 

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People can share their photos on the day on Facebook and on Twitter using the hashtag #liquoricefest