Pontefract Liquorice Festival
Pontefract, the liquorice capital of England, presents a delicious, action packed weekend celebrating the culture and heritage of this famous market town.
Pontefract is a unique historic town with Norman Castle, cobbled streets and the aroma of warm liquorice emanating from the local sweet factories. It provides a fantastic backdrop to the annual Liquorice Festival. Heritage Day at Pontefract Castle on Saturday offers a fascinating and fun step back in time with living history groups, civil war re-enactments, tours of the underground magazine, medieval music as well as themed craft market.
Liquorice Day in the Town Centre on Sunday opens (view above map for direction) with a spectacular procession and provides the very best professional street performers, music, art and craft workshops alongside community performances and fairground rides. There are liquorice talks, exhibitions, 15th century pubs and the Tranquility alternative therapy centre to visit. In addition to the popular art and craft market there will also be an extraordinary array of liquorice produce and 80 rare liquorice plants to acquire.
Pontefract Liquorice Festival is delicious program of arts & heritage festivities suitable for all the family. Pomfretians welcome all for a fun, festive, tasty weekend of liquorice, music, mirth and merriment.
The festival is currently run and managed by a charity trust, Pontefract Liquorice Trust (they took over management in 2003) whose mandate is to develop and enhance social and economic remodeling and reformation of the town through its historical roots and association with liquorice.
Aims of the Festival
The Pontefract Liquorice Trust aims to promote, maintain and advance public education in, and appreciation of the arts, heritage and cultural diversity of the town of Pontefract. The organisation achieves these aims through the organisation and management of festivals, community and educational projects, meetings and production of written and other materials.
- To use the arts to celebrate the heritage and culture of the market town of Pontefract and its unique association with liquorice with an emphasis on cultural diversity.
- Increase involvement from disadvantaged groups, local community groups, schools, young people’s service and voluntary organisations.
- To build the capacity of community groups in areas around the town center.
- To build links with Pontefract Heritage group and Pontefract Castle, extending opportunities from last year’s pilot collaboration on the Castle Heritage Day
- To enhance civic pride and develop aspirations, promoting Pontefract as a vibrant place to live work and socialize.
- To harness the tourism potential of the town, thereby increasing visitor numbers, establishing Pontefract as the “York” of West Yorkshire.
- To contribute to local regeneration initiatives that aim to improve the infrastructure of the town, ie transport, hotels and other prospective developments.
- Promote the work of regional artists. In 2004, making further opportunities for a wider range of regional artists with an emphasis on cultural diversity.
- Production of a 2 day annual arts festival – Pontefract Liquorice Festival which incorporates Castle Day, with a Heritage theme, at Pontefract Castle and Liquorice Day, a town centre arts festival.
- Arrangement of high quality outreach Arts & Educational program with people of all ages and abilities prior to and during the event
- Promotion local and regional talent (professional and amateur)
- Working in partnership with local voluntary groups, ie developing the partnership with Pontefract Heritage Group to produce the Castle Day
- Fundraising (in order to deliver the above)
- Working in partnership with Town Centre Partnership, Wakefield MDC, Wakefield First, Yorkshire Forward, Urban Renaissance and other local agencies (to deliver the above)
I’m repurposing this website and below is some information about the festival that I was able to grab from the wayback machine as was previously published on the site. You can access the content by clicking through various topics below. The festival still takes place every July and I will be updating the site with some update about the event soon. For the time below read about the history of the festival below.