ONE of York's favourite festivals is making a comeback featuring dozens of ice sculptures and live carvings.

York Ice Trail returns to the city on March 5 and 6 with more than 40 ice sculptures due to line York’s streets, focused on an 'around the world' theme.

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Flashback: York Ice Trail in 2019 Picture: Barney Sharratt, The Press Camera Club

The popular event, which saw 31,000 people participating in 2020’s Fantastical Fiction and Fairy Tales trail, was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

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Willow with 2020 York Ice Trail sculpture. Picture: Charlotte Graham

This year’s event, initially scheduled for February, has been postponed to March due to rising Covid-19 cases and following guidance from the city’s Safety Advisory Group, Public Health and City of York Council.

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York Ice Trail, pictured here in 2019, is due return to the city's streets on March 5 and 6.

Designed and sponsored by local businesses in York, the spectacles include an icy recreation of a First York park and ride bus in Parliament Street and a Bettys Express Train in Davygate while Middletons Hotel grounds will be transformed into a wonderland, with four ice sculptures with Mad Hatter-themed props, inviting visitors to ‘go down the rabbit hole’.

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Flashback: York Ice Trail in 2019 Picture: Heather Storr, The Press Camera Club

York BID have seven ice sculptures to find in the Make It York event, one for every continent in the world, inspired by Disney characters ranging from classic characters to new favourites.

City of York Council’s York Skyline sculpture will feature famous York landmarks carved into the ice across Exhibition Square.

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York Ice Trail in 2019 Picture: Matthew Fawcett The Press Camera Club

For international sport lovers, the Rugby League World Cup trophy on Parliament Street will be in celebration of York being a host city for this autumn’s tournament.

There’ll also be live ice carving at St Sampson’s Square with sculpture creators Ice Box as well as opportunities to have a go at ice carving on the graffiti wall in Parliament Street.

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York Ice Trail in 2019 Picture: Briony Parrott, The Press Camera Club

Sarah Loftus, managing director at Make It York, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing back the much-loved York Ice Trail event for 2022, and although slightly later than planned, it will be worth the wait.

"After a couple of years where many of us haven’t been able to travel too far, this year’s theme will bring sculptures inspired from ‘around the world’ to the streets of York."

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Mat Foster, Glacial Art with 2020 York Ice Trail sculpture. Picture: Charlotte Graham

Cllr Keith Aspden, council leader, said: “It’s excellent to see the much-loved event return once again in March for residents, families and visitors to enjoy safely.

“Our city is well known and loved for its vibrant businesses, so many of whom have joined the festivities this year, with an impressive 40 sculptures set to bring some extra magic to the city.”

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York Ice Trail in 2019 Picture: Barney Sharratt The Press Camera Club

John Godfrey, of main sponsors First York, said: “We’ve been a supporter of the Ice Trail for three years with our own sculpture and know what anticipation and interest the event creates. This builds on our commitment to help people enjoy the leisure and social life York is famous for and look forward to seeing thousands of visitors makes the trip to marvel at the attractions around the city.”