York Ice Trail returns this weekend (February 1-2) with 40 intricate ice sculptures on display throughout the city centre.
The Ice Trail is now the biggest event of its kind in the country and has become a key date in York's calendar, attracting around 17,000 visitors in 2019 - the first time it was moved from its pre-Christmas slot in December to a new February date.
It's free to follow and this year the theme is 'fiction and fairy tales' - so you can spot cartoon and film characters, mythical creatures and fairytale favourites.
There will also be live ice carving demonstrations on St Sampson's Square from 12-3pm on both days, and a carving wall on Parliament Street for visitors to try ice sculpting for themselves.
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The ice models have been hand-carved by Liverpool-based Glacial Art, a specialist company who have also supplied ice sculptures for the Game of Thrones set and the Cannes Film Festival.
Four master sculptors have been working on the 40 pieces since August, and they will only arrive in York on the first day of the Ice Trail.
Highlights of the trail include the National Railway Museum's Rocket Train, the largest of the sculptures, outside York Minster and the Star Wars series sponsored by York BID.
There are magic mirrors and pillories to encourage visitors to share their photos on social media.
Middletons Hotel will be transformed into a Harry Potter-themed wonderland, with a range of activities and three ice sculptures.
Visit York's head of marketing and communications Paul Whiting said:-
“We are very excited about this year’s York Ice Trail. When we moved the trail from December to February last year it was an incredible success and we wanted to build on that by increasing it to a two-day event this year and encourage visitors to stay longer and explore the city more. The theme this year has given scope for some truly stunning designs and we are expecting to draw thousands of visitors to the event, from both within the city and beyond. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to explore this experience and unveiling all of this year’s designs."
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Sponsors of this year's trail include York Minster, the National Railway Museum, The Botanist, Bettys, Kennedys, LNER, The Grand Opera House and York Dungeon.
York Ice Trail maps are available for free from the Visitor Information Centre (1 Museum Street) or visit: https://www.visityork.org/whats-on/ice-trail for more information. Follow #YorkIceTrail20 on social media for inspiration and share ice sculpture pictures.
The 40 ice sculptures
Blake Street - Mirror Mirror
St Leonard's Place - Guy Fawkes
Museum Street - Spongebob
Station Rise - The Grand Safe
Queen Street - Breaking Ground
Station Road - Miss Fritter
Micklegate - Porg
Middletons Hotel - Harry Potter and Hedwig
Kings Staith - Jawa
Tower Street - cannon
Coppergate Centre - Sonic the Hedgehog
Coppergate Walk - Gruffalo
Piccadilly - Totoro
Walmgate - Ewok
Carmelite Street - book
St Maurice's Road - phoenix
Goodramgate - crystal fox
Minster Piazza - Grotesque
High Petergate - Rocket
Stonegate - The Botanist
Little Stonegate - Dumbo and Squirtle
Davygate - gingerbread man and Aslan
Coney Street - unicorn
Feasegate - Luna's Spectrespecs
St Sampson's Square - Viking helmet, dragon luge
Grape Lane - White Beauty Rose
Low Petergate - pocket watch
Church Street - sword in the stone
Kings Square - Azuma
Shambles Market - Grouch
Parliament Street - Curtains Up, sunflowers, pillory