York Ice Trail 2020: All you need to know about this weekend's event

York Ice Trail in 2019
York Ice Trail in 2019
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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.

York Ice Trail in 2019

York Ice Trail in 2019

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.

York Ice Trail in 2019

York Ice Trail in 2019

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