YorkshireDay   Friarwood Festival 2023

                          Yorkshire Day 2023                                                                         Friarwood Festival 2023

When Friends of Friarwood Valley Gardens first formed in 2012 we conducted a survey to find out what improvements in the Valley Gardens people wanted to see and bringing back and events was one of the most popular. From 2013 onwards we have organised family gala days for Pontefract Liquorice Festival in July and Yorkshire Day on 1st August. Pontefract Lioness Club incorporated the Valley Gardens as part of the Lantern Festival from 2013 onwards, in October. We also hold an Easter Egg Hunt for pre-school children every spring. In 2018 we introduced Friarwood Festival in August, a music event celebrating local popular music talent. It proved extremely popular, attracting over 4,000 attendees. 

Unfortunately, Covid-19 meant that we were unable to hold any of the events in 2020, although a children's Christmas Trail was set up to boost seasonal spirit during the pandemic. In 2021 Covid restrictions did not allow us to have the Easter Egg Hunt or Liquorice Festival in July, but we did hold the Yorkshire Day event and Friarwood Festival also went ahead in August and was a great success despite heavy rain on the day. 

We got back to normal events in 2022 and were blessed with good weather apart from the Platinum Jubilee gala day in June which was a dismal wet day with poor attendance. In 2023, Easter Egg Hunt, Liquorice Festival, Yorkshire Day and Friarwood Festival were all a great success. Unfortunately, the Lantern Festival has been cancelled indefinitely. It had become extremely popular, attracting too many people for the lantern parade to be safely marshalled  through town and into the Valley Gardens in the dark.