YORK city centre was bustling today with locals and visitors alike following this year’s York Ice Trail.
Ice sculptures, totalling 37 across the weekend of the festival (February 4 and 5), were dotted around the city centre, for the trail’s participants to find by following a free downloadable map.
The sculptures’ designs, said to be particularly enjoyed by “excited children”, depicted designs under this year’s theme, ‘A Journey Through Time’.
The trail began in Parliament Street with a sculpture of a stopwatch, sponsored by YO1 Radio, and took the participants on a course throughout the city centre, from the prehistoric ages, through the history of York, and into the future.
The trail finished in St Sampson’s square with a live ice carving by Europe’s leading ice specialists, Icebox.
The sculptures were each sponsored and conceived by local businesses, in collaboration with Make It York and their main event sponsors, York Park&Ride.
Their ideas were then designed and created by Icebox.
Sam Robson, senior supervisor of The Judge’s Lodging hotel, in Lendal, said: “We’ve partnered with Middletons hotel under the Greek mythical creatures theme.
“We have the Greek minotaur to tie in with our building as we have the Greek god of medicine carving on the front above the door.
“It’s exciting to see the children loving it and wanting their photos taken with it!”
York-based train operator LNER conceived the 100-year sculpture to mark the centenary year since LNER was established.
A spokesman for LNER said: “You might recognise the images in the ice of the Mallard train which broke the speed-record in 1938, and the Azuma train which launched in 2019.”
Zara, from York, who was admiring the Walmgate sculpture, said: “I’ve enjoyed having a look round the sculptures this morning, I’ve liked this horse riding one and the motorcar one the best.
“It’s cute seeing children get excited and I think they’re really cool too.”
A family visiting the city from Leeds with two young sons, who did not want to be named, told The Press: “They loved the race car one (in High Ousegate) the most, they were really excited to see that.
“I don’t think we’ve ever seen an ice sculpture before, the people who make them are dead clever!”
Sarah Loftus, managing director at Make It York, said: “We’re incredibly thankful to all the brilliant local businesses who support the York Ice Trail and to our headline sponsor, York Park&Ride.
“Their support makes it possible for us to keep running these much-loved free events in the city.
“Our ice partners at Icebox have done a phenomenal job at bringing the ideas to life.”