Edit ModuleShow Tags

St. Paul's Coolest Celebration: The Winter Carnival


Published:

One of my favorite winter childhood memories is of visiting the Saint Paul Winter Carnival’s Ice Palaces (my first one in 1986)—I think we still have a certificate for an ice block. I took my “little” from Big Brothers Big Sisters to the last Ice Palace in 2004 and it was still amazing. Even when the Winter Carnival doesn’t have an Ice Palace, it’s the best way to kick the winter blues in January.

The 126th Winter Carnival kicks off this Thursday (Jan. 26-Feb. 5). The legend that marks the carnival is that of bitter enemies King Boreas, who rules the winds, and Vulcanus Rex, the god of fire. While Boreas celebrates winter with a carnival and is joined by the Queen of Snows as well as Klondike Kate, a lady of song and merriment, Vulcanus Rex and his Krewe storm in to put an end to the celebration (read the entire legend). You can see this excitement unfold during the carnival each year.

The Winter Carnival schedule this year includes a variety of (mostly free) events. View two historic exhibits (Memories on Ice: The History of the Carnival Wall and a display of past Ice Palaces), go ice skating at Wells Fargo Winterskate by Landmark Center, listen to live music in Rice Park (Thurs.-Sat. at noon), check out the orchid show (Jan. 28 & 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Marjorie McNeely Conservatory), cheer on the coronation of Winter Carnival royalty, and so much more.

My favorite part is the ice carving competition. There’s always such variety, from large impressive sculptures to smaller detailed sculptures. Last year’s winner, Trevor Pearson, spoke with us about his exciting back-to-back wins in the January issue.

Winter Carnival 2011 Winter Carnival 2011

ice sculptures at winter carnival 2011 photos by ellie m. bayrd

Another popular event is the third annual Beer Dabbler, held this Saturday (from 4-8 p.m., must be 21 or older to enter, $30 advance tickets, $40 at door). Taste a variety of craft and micro brews over at the Saint Paul Farmers’ Market grounds.

To kick things off in true Winter Carnival fashion this Saturday, the royal family will host the second annual Rock the Palace, a party and dance to welcome guests to this winter wonderland (7 p.m.-midnight, $15, at Crowne Plaza Riverfront). Enjoy live music from Bad Girlfriends and 8 foot 4. The carnival concludes with fireworks and the Vulcan takeover on Feb. 4.

Will you be there?

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Journeys: How to Love Baseball While Knowing Little to Nothing about It

Whether you’re a fan for life or an ultra casual like me, baseball is a sport for the summer

A Gala Befitting Glensheen

At the Glensheen Gala, you can explore the gardens, see normally closed-off spots, and relish in the after party along Lake Superior

Seven Days of California Adventure

New adventures await in California, even for Travel Club guide and travel editor Todd Walker

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Traditional Powwow This Weekend

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe welcomes the public to enjoy traditional dancing, drum ceremonies, and contests

A Day Trip to the North Loop

Just north and west of Target Field, North Loop has some of the best restaurants and shops in Minneapolis

The Museum of Pizza Has Minnesota Ties

Todd about Town: New York's new museum dedicated to pizza came from a U of M alum

Spa Central

When it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation, the Twin Cities do it right

A Bay Area Break

Go on a worry-free, weeklong vacation to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Napa Valley, with the Minnesota Monthly Travel Club

This Week’s Top Artist Picks

Sam Smith, Reba McEntire, and Rod Stewart come to Minnesota

3 Fairs This Weekend

Celebrate Minnesota’s heritage—by raising a glass at the country’s biggest free Irish fair, by marveling at fierce lumberjack competitions, or by slipping into Civil War re-enactments

Ramsey Falls: A Photo Essay

Picturesque bridges, four miles of hiking trails, a gorgeous waterfall, and more await at Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls

Journeys: A Civil War Woman

Pipestone Civil War Days reenactor Kate Heller talks about what the festival is like, how she began reenacting, and how her Civil War Days wedding went

Destination: Pipestone

Civil War Days and Pipestone National Monument make Pipestone a rich historical destination

Irish Fair of Minnesota

Pure bagpipin' bliss
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags