Winter Carnival Celebrates 132 Years of Not Being Siberia

By Erica Wacker

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Ice palace in Rice Park / Photo by Jim Hoffman

Hell hath no fury like a Minnesotan scorned. As the story goes, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival began in response to a few misguided East Coast reporters who called the state “another Siberia, unfit for human habitation.” Fast-forward 132 years, and we’re still proving them wrong with 17 days of ice sculptures, parades, races and other revelry during the coldest and darkest time of the year.

Taking place Jan. 25-Feb. 10, the expanded 2018 Winter Carnival will feature an ice bar, ice carvings and live music in Rice Park; snow sculptures, a giant snow slide and outdoor beer festival at the State Fairgrounds; a winter race and triathlon; a film festival; three parades; and the ever-popular medallion hunt, with $10,000 at stake for the person who finds it. Many events are free or low cost, with activities suitable for all ages.

Learn more about Winter Carnival, and dozens of other winter events, in our extensive events calendar.