As we hurtle inexorably through advent with all its festivity planning panics, spending headaches and last minute workplace duties, one city centre event offers us the chance to slow down for a moment and appreciate some otherworldly beauty in the familiar streets of The Quarter.
The Festival Of Angels was launched in 1999, and has been bringing a touch of icy magic to the heart of York on a yearly basis ever since. For a generation of locals, it’s every bit as synonymous with the city as the smell of nascent KitKats and regular flooding.
When: Saturday, December 14 to Sunday, December 15 2013, from 11am, closing at 6pm on Saturday and 5pm on Sunday.
Where: The Quarter (Minster Quarter, Low Petergate, Stonegate, St Helen’s Square, King’s Square, Back Swinegate and Davygate)
Suitable for: All ages
What is The Festival of Angels?
The Festival of Angels is a free event which celebrates the coming of Christmas and the culmination of a year’s trade with an often beautiful array of ice sculptures, arranged in a trail leading through the Minster Quarter, Low Petergate, Stonegate, St Helen’s Square, King’s Square, Back Swinegate and Davygate.
Ice sculptures, you say?
The ice sculptures on show at The Festival of Angels are always worth seeing and at times breath-taking. The sculptures displayed over the years have ranged from massive hits like the 9ft angel which towered over Grape Lane in 2001 to naff misses like last year’s profoundly uninspiring York 800 logo sculpture.
For the first time the festival will feature an ice bust of panto dame Berwick Kaler who will be appearing in his 35th pantomime at York Theatre Royal. Warriors from the Jorvik Viking Centre will be creating a Nordic winter scene on Davygate with Thor’s hammer enshrined in ice.
Much of the work is created by the talented sculptor at Glacial Art. Expect to see a pleasing array of seasonal subjects along with a few wild cards – plenty of pleasing scenes and excellent craftsmanship to appeal to young and old alike.
Anything else on offer?
This year’s Festival of Angels promises food and drink stalls, street entertainment and a dusting of ‘snow’ falling from the shop windows lining the streets, ensuring a festive feel and plenty to do once visitors have seen all the sculptures on offer.
The festival is organised jointly by City of York Council and local traders, who would undoubtedly recommend the event as a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and do some Christmas shopping in the city centre.