The St. Paul Winter Carnival a.k.a. “The Coolest Celebration On Earth”

For years I’ve been saying, “this year I need to check out the St. Paul Winter Carnival”…and then it arrives and for one reason or another I don’t make it to the events. But finally, this year I made it! On Saturday, I headed to Rice Park to check out the ice sculptures and the mini ice palace, hear some live music and have a glass of Minnesota-made “Vulcan’s Revenge” red wine from the Cannon River Winery at the Summit Ice Bar. It was lovely! While the mild temperatures had caused some melting, the ice sculptures were amazing and the ice bar was so cool (sorry, so cliche but I couldn’t resist)! We got our photo taken on the ice throne in the mini ice palace and stopped to see the Charles Schulz sculptures around Rice Park.

Across the street people were ice skating in the city and within Landmark Center there was an Ice Palace exhibit with miniature models of all the ice palaces since the first St. Paul Winter Carnival in 1886. It was fun to see the replica of the first ice palace I visited back when I was a youngster in 1986…I still remember how impressed I was by the huge castle made of ice!

Being downtown St. Paul also gave us the chance to dine at Pazzaluna—a fantastic Italian eatery. We were extremely lucky and managed to get a table by the window with a view of the Torchlight Parade (they had a “no show” party).

After, we walked through Rice Park with all of the ice sculptures, ice palace, ice bar and tons of twinkling lights in the trees a glow, it was quite magical!

Unfortunately, I missed the Snow Park at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds…but I’m already looking forward to next year! I’m not going to miss out on this fun Minnesota tradition. It’s such a fun and unique way to celebrate one of the coldest times of the year with ice artistry and outdoor entertainment.

What’s your favorite St. Paul Winter Carnival memory?

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