Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Destination’s calendar of events got off to a ‘n’ice start with a free seaside themed Ice & Waves Trail during February half term.
The event, which was in support of Visit County Durham’s Year of the Coast campaign, saw five stunning ice sculptures placed around the mall, with a spectacular live carve of a giant ice-cream.
All the pieces were related to the breathtaking local coastline and included a starfish, a seagull, a wave and a replica of the Seaham lighthouse.
Over 9,700 people visited Dalton Park and 250 families took part in the trail, with the winner of the marine goody bag and £20 gift card being announced as eight-year-old Callum Pow from Murton.
He said: “I really enjoyed seeing all the ice sculptures and taking part in the trail. I couldn’t believe it when I found out I had won the competition. My favourite sculpture was the Seaham lighthouse, it was really impressive! I am going to spend my voucher on a new football.”
Free activities with Explore SeaScapes and Climate Action North were also hugely popular with shoppers and lots of people enjoyed learning more about marine ecosystems and the wildlife that can be found around the Durham Heritage Coast.
Richard Kaye, Centre Manager at Dalton Park, said: “It was brilliant to see so many families enjoying our first event of the year.
“It is great to be supporting Visit County Durham’s Year of the Coast celebrations and, as a tourism partner, we are looking forward to working with them throughout 2023.
“The live carve was really popular throughout the day and we saw lots and lots of people taking selfies with the sculptures.
“It was a fantastic start to our 20th anniversary year with plenty more fun to come!”
Michelle Gorman, managing director at Visit County Durham, added: “The ice trail was not only a fantastic family event, but also an opportunity for people to find out more about the significance of the Durham Heritage Coast.
“Events like these are integral to the Year of the Coast, raising awareness of coastal issues, as well as promoting the coast as a sustainable year-round destination.”
The Year of the Coast 2023 campaign is led by the National Coastal Tourism Academy and is being delivered in partnership with destination management organisations, including Visit County Durham.
The 12-month celebration will promote the coast as a sustainable destination that can be enjoyed at any time and coincides with the completion of England’s Coastal Path, which, at 2700 miles, is the longest marked walking route in the world!
For more information about Visit County Durham’s Year of the Coast campaign please visit https://www.thisisdurham.com/year-of-the-coast-2023