The York Ice Trail proved to be hot stuff in its new slot on the calendar.
Organisers Make It York moved the sculpture show out of the hurly-burly of Christmas and into the first Saturday in February by organisers Make It York. And it drew a crowd equivalent to a busy summer’s day.
An estimated 17,000 people visited the York Ice Trail.
Figures show that the average footfall figures for Parliament Street, Coney Street, Stonegate and Micklegate were 131K – 41% higher than on the same first Saturday in February 2018.
And the event feedback was overwhelmingly positive
Such was the success of this year’s trail, it will be back for twice as long next year – two full days, Saturday 1 February and Sunday 2 February.
Visitors of all ages followed the map to find the 50 sculptures, sponsored by York businesses.
Many were placed down less footfall-intensive city centre streets, helping people to rediscover their attractions.
Head of Visit York Paul Whiting said:
The creative geniuses at Glacial Arts really excelled this year and pulled out all the stops to make this our best Ice Trail yet.
We were overwhelmed with reactions to the trail, people really love it and we’re now busy planning the next one already.
Boost for businesses
The York BID (Business Improvement District) sponsored the Ice Trail, as well as six individual sculptures.
Executive director of the BID Andrew Lowson said:
We’re delighted to support this key event in York’s annual calendar.
It’s a fun and interactive experience and it was great to see so many families enjoying the sculptures and exploring some of York’s more hidden streets.
Holding the event in February has been proven to boost footfall numbers at a traditionally quieter time of year.
A survey of visitors on the day found:
- 84% of people visiting came especially for the York Ice Trail
- Parliament Street, St Helen’s Square and the Hero Camp at Middleton’s Hotel were most popular
- 30% saw every one of the sculptures
- 90% of visitors said they would be likely to return next year
- and more than 80% of respondents visited the local shops, restaurants and attractions.