Has the cold got you suffering from some cabin fever? Are you ready to start finding a cure to the winter blues? The St. Paul Winter Carnival, which is the nation's oldest and largest winter festival, runs from January 23 to February 2 and will melt some of the ice that's formed in your bones. Filled with events on each day, this carnival has something for everyone! Why not fly up north to the cold so that you can experience the warmth that St. Paul offers freely for the 2014 version of their Winter Carnival?
Parades, Jigsaw Puzzle Contests, and So Much More!
St. Paul Winter Carnival Parade Photo: Michael Hicks/Flickr
The St. Paul Winter Carnival kicks off on the 23rd with the pedestrian parade, which is free to attend and open to the public. You'll start at the Chamber of Commerce, end at Rice Park, and it will all be under the glow of the Winter moon. The parade is followed by the Royal Coronation, which is a ticketed social dinner event, the very next evening.
The events really kick off that weekend, as the Winter Runs begin early in the morning Register at 7am for your 5k, 10k, or half marathon race if you enjoy a good, cold run. A jigsaw puzzle contest is scheduled for the morning, while the Grande Day Parade and the Kid's Day at the Carnival is scheduled of that afternoon. The Carnival as lots of no-cost or low-cost activities for everyone to enjoy, so you won't have to spend a lot to get a lot of fun out of the day!
If you prefer a more traditional winter weekend activity, the Beer Dabbler is scheduled for that evening as well. The event is 21+, requires ID, and tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door.
A snow plow competition and the Disk Festival help to round out the weekend's events.
The Fun Continues All Week!
St. Paul Winter Carnival Ice Castle Photo: Kendrick Erickson/Flickr
If you can survive St. Paul for the next week, the Carnival continues to run so that you can continue to have a great time. On Saturday, February 1st, more events begin as the overthrow of King Boreas must commence immediately after the Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade. It's another Family Day down at the Carnival as well, so be sure to take advantage of that before and after the parade! A fireworks show is scheduled for the evening, and after the King is overthrown, the Victory Dance will be held.
The dance is also a ticketed event, which is $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Prepare In Advance For the Winter Carnival
Unicorn Fountain Photo: Mykl Roventine/Flickr
Nearly 350,000 people attended last year's Winter Carnival and even more people are expected this year. Rooms will book up fast and tickets are expected to move even more quickly! The ultimate goal of the Carnival, beyond having fun of course, is to bring about a greater sense of community within the city of St. Paul, celebrate the region's uniqueness, and still provide people with an educational experience.
If you're ready to explore St. Paul and see the best of what Minnesota has to offer, the Winter Carnival is a fabulous opportunity to do both. With many free events and low-cost ticketed events, you'll create chilly memories that will last a lifetime... but in a good way!