PLANS have been unveiled to bring a family-favourite festival back to York.

Make It York, organisers of York Ice Trail, has announced that the popular event will return to the city in February 2023.

‘A journey through time’ will be next year's theme, inviting visitors to time travel to prehistoric ages, walk through history and step into the future.

The last York Ice Trail took place in March and was a huge success, following a one-year break due to the pandemic.

More than 40 ice sculptures lined the streets of York over the weekend, with an estimated 25,000 people participating in the trail, compared with 31,000 people checking out 2020’s Fantastical Fiction and Fairy Tales trail.

York Press:

Research commissioned with Qa Research, based on a survey of 393 visitors, showed that 94 per cent of participants would recommend the trail to family and friends.

The free trail also had a positive impact on businesses in the city, with 81 per cent of participants eating out or drinking in the city’s restaurants, cafes and bars.

More than 50 per cent also said they were likely to go shopping or visit an attraction.

The York Ice Trail held more appeal to local people in 2022 than pre-pandemic in 2020, with the proportion of residents visiting the event this year rising to 39 per cent, compared with 23 per cent in February 2020.

The 2022 theme focused on 'around the world'.

York Ice Trail 2023 will once again see the ‘coolest’ sculptures around the city, all sponsored by local businesses.

UK and Europe’s leading ice specialists, Icebox will design and create all the sculptures for the 2023 trail for the second year.

Sarah Loftus, managing director at Make It York, said: “York Ice Trail is one of the best-loved events in the city and we’re so excited to planning our next trail in February 2023.

"It’s a huge celebration of our city and a great opportunity for businesses to come together to support. The concept for next year’s trail will inspire the imagination with ‘a journey through time’, transporting visitors across time and dimension!”

Greg Pittard, managing director at Icebox, said: “We are thrilled to be returning to York for the second year in a row as the sculptors for the 2023 Ice Trail! The York Ice Trail is by far one of the ‘coolest’ events we have been a part of, and we have a busy few months in the freezer ahead as we begin carving for this year’s theme.

"Thank you to Make It York and all the amazing businesses across the city for trusting us and making this event possible.”

For more information, visit York Ice Trail.