PICTURES: Families enjoy a sweet day out at this year’s Liquorice Festival

People flocked to Pontefract town centre's Marketplace during for this year's Liquorice Festival.
People flocked to Pontefract town centre's Marketplace during for this year's Liquorice Festival.

A new venue and a record number of visitors helped this year’s Pontefract Liquorice Festival to be one the sweetest.

Back for its 23rd year, 39,000 people visited the town centre events, and a further 3,725 visited Pontefract Castle, a new venue for this year’s event.

Children were kept busy with a variety of activities, including crafts, face painting and a double decker bus with soft play equipment.

There was also bird of prey handling and a climbing wall, while dancers, musicians, and street entertainers performed for the crowds as they browsed the street market of more than 100 stalls selling a wide variety of food, arts and crafts.

There was more to enjoy over at the castle, including an outdoor cinema showing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Visitors were able to travel between the town centre and the castle via the free Liquorice Land train, with guest conductor Lucy Liquorice.

Coun Jacquie Speight, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “The Festival was again a great success and it was fantastic to see so many of the district’s residents and visitors having fun and joining in this celebration of our heritage.”

The event is sponsored by Tangerine Confectionary, and celebrates Pontefract’s long association with liquorice. It was originally used medicinally, but became a sweet-shop staple once it was made into the famous Pontefract cakes.