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Saint Paul Winter Carnival

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival launches every January with a mad hunt for the Winter Carnival Medallion.

Since 1952 the medallion has been hidden in one of Saint Paul's city parks, and daily clues offered in the Pioneer Press newspaper and online.

Hardy Minnesotans, and Minnesota visitors, bundle up, grab shovels, and mine the snow and ice for the buried treasure.

The Pioneer Press rewards the finder of the medallion with a $10,000.00 prize.

Hotels in Saint Paul fill up fast as carnival time approaches.


Minnesotans began this celebration of winter in 1886, as a way to combat negative publicity in The New York Times about the harsh weather that pummels the state each year. Much of this history is chronicled in Fire & Ice: The History of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Given the joy and participation each year, we can safely say Minnesota's reputation as a wonderful winter wonderland is safe!

Another crowd-pleasing Saint Paul Winter Carnival event is the ice sculpting contest. We love to grab our cameras and head to Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul to admire the work of these talented artists. The ice sculptures are breath-taking at night as the lights add to their sparkle.

Watch the St. Paul Winter Carnival Ice Sculptures Being Created

While ice is being sculpted in Rice park, other artists are using snow as their medium at the Minnesota State Fair grounds.

Many other events are traditions during Minnesota's annual celebration of winter. Some of these include:

  • Saint Paul Winter Carnival Royalty Coronations
  • King Boreas Grande Day Parade in downtown Saint Paul
  • Ice skating on the rink near Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul
  • Klondike Kate competition and Klondike Kate Cabaret
  • Winter Carnival Blues Festival in the Roy Wilkins Auditorium at the Xcel Energy Center
  • Torchlight Parade in downtown Saint Paul

The stated purpose of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival is:

"To foster a sense of community, pride, belonging and connectedness by celebrating Saint Paul's unique history and emerging heritage through fun and educational experiences."

Winter Carnival Official Site

More Minnesota Winter Fun!

Minnesota Winter Activities

Minnesota Winter Festivals

List of Minnesota Winter Sports

Learning to Ice Skate

How to Ice Skate

Snowmobiling Minnesota

Diary of a Snow Shoveler

Top Ten Things About a Minnesota Winter

Winter Blizzards in Minnesota

Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter Poems

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