St. Paul's Winter Carnival Kicks Off Thursday

January 25, 2018 03:32 PM

St. Paul's Winter Carnival is set for its official opening Thursday.

The grand opening includes the unveiling of the massive Winter Carnival Ice Palace, which is only the 37th ice palace in the carnival's 132-year history. The ice palace required more than 5,000 blocks of ice, cut from Green Lake in Spicer.

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RELATED: Minnesota Moment: Behind-the-Scenes Look at St. Paul Ice Palace

"This year there's actually a walleye frozen in one of the big ice blocks, so if you're coming down take a look," said Joe Gallagher, the Ecolab Ice Palace Project Manager.

The palace will be lit up at 6:45 p.m. during the Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade, which kicks off the carnival at 6 p.m.

"We're here to celebrate winter in Minnesota," said Jen Tamburo, the board chair for the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation. "That's really what it's about."

This year, because of the Super Bowl, the St. Paul Winter Carnival is a week longer than usual. It runs from Jan. 25 until Feb. 10 from Rice Park to the State Fairgrounds.

RELATED: St. Paul Winter Carnival Extended to 17 Days

While it may be the start of a new carnival, it's a bittersweet end for last year's "Royal Family." At a ceremony Friday night, King Boreas and his crew will pass on the crown.

"We've made around 400 appearances from nursing homes to schools, parades, all the way from Winnipeg, Canada to Bradenton, Florida," King Boreas said. "Spreading the good word of St. Paul and being the best ambassadors we can, it's been awesome."

The 17-day festival includes parades, a winter run, and the "royal coronation," among other events.

Find a detailed calendar of events here.

KSTP

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