HARIBO Celebrates Pontefract’s Sweet Secret Ballot History at Liquorice Festival

As anticipation builds for the Pontefract Liquorice Festival on Sunday, 14th July 2024, HARIBO UK is stirring up excitement by spotlighting a lesser-known but fascinating connection between the town’s famous liquorice sweets and a landmark event in British democracy.

Pontefract, renowned for its rich history in liquorice production, is not just famous for its delectable Pontefract Cakes but also holds a special place in voting history. This year, festival-goers will learn about the intriguing link between these sweet treats and the first-ever secret ballot in Britain, held in Pontefract in 1872.

The story begins in the 1760s with George Dunhill, an eighteenth-century chemist who transformed a medicinal recipe by adding sugar to create the first liquorice sweet. This sweet, now known as the iconic Pontefract Cake, soon became a beloved confection. What many might not know is that the emblem stamped on each cake – featuring a castle and an owl – is a modern version of the same stamp used in the historic 1872 secret ballot.

HARIBO UK, rooted in Yorkshire since acquiring a major stake in the Dunhill family business in 1972, continues to uphold this tradition by producing liquorice-flavoured Pontefract Cakes. Jon Hughes, Managing Director of HARIBO UK & Ireland, expressed pride in this historical connection, stating, “This incredible connection between liquorice and the first-ever secret ballot demonstrates the rich history of the region and the important role it continues to play today.”

The Pontefract Liquorice Festival, sponsored by HARIBO, promises to be a delightful celebration of this heritage. The streets of Pontefract will be alive with residents and tourists enjoying the festivities. Highlights include the vibrant Liquorice Parade, led by HARIBO’s iconic Goldbear and a host of colourful HARIBO-themed costumes, bringing a dose of childlike happiness to the event.

“At HARIBO we are proud of our Yorkshire heritage. Through our recent investment in a new warehouse at our Castleford site and headline sponsorship of the Liquorice Festival this year, we are committed to Yorkshire for the long term.”

As the festival day approaches, the town of Pontefract gears up to celebrate not just its sweet treats but also its unique contribution to the democratic process. The Pontefract Liquorice Festival promises a blend of history, culture, and joy – a testament to the legacy of this Yorkshire town.

So, mark your calendars for Sunday, 14th July, and join HARIBO in celebrating the sweet and significant history of Pontefract at the Liquorice Festival.

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