Saint Paul, Minn. (January 23, 2018) --- The 132nd Saint Paul Winter Carnival is set to launch on Thursday, Jan. 25 and continue providing fun for the whole family through Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. This year’s festival will be an additional seven days from previous years. Dozens of free events have been planned, both traditional favorites and new attractions, to entertain our local supporters and out-of-town visitors. Most activities will take place in downtown Saint Paul, in and around Rice Park and Landmark Center, as well as at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Here’s a sampling of new highlights of “The Coolest Celebration on Earth™:”
· The Ecolab Ice Palace presented by Spire Credit Union, the “crown jewel” of the 2018 Saint Paul Winter Carnival, will be on display throughout the 17-day festival. Located in Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul, the approximately 70-foot-high glimmering structure is constructed of more than 4,000 blocks of ice and weighs over two million pounds!
Each night of Carnival, a “Flip The Switch” lighting ceremony will be held 5:30 p.m. The Ecolab Ice Palace Light Show presented by Xcel Energy will illuminate Rice Park each night at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
· The Not Your Father’s Winter Carnival Music Series on the Spire Credit Union Entertainment Stage will provide live entertainment in Rice Park for 15 days during the festival. From funky disco beats to traditional music representing Cinco de Mayo; country crooners to fun sing-alongs for the whole family; a jazzy afternoon to a purple nighttime tribute to Prince; Rice Park will be the place for great performances.
· The Vulcans Snow Park at the State Fairgrounds will be open and ready for play from Friday, Jan. 26 through Sunday, Feb. 11. Once again, it will be the site of the State Snow Sculpting Competition, a giant snow slide, Vulcan Fun Day on January 28, two Vulcan Polar Plunges for Special Olympics (Jan. 28 during the day and Feb. 3 in the evening) and new for 2018 – lawn mower, bar stool ski and kid’s quarter-scale car races, as well as Tow Up Throw Down competitions. MNSnowPark.com
· The United States Olympic Committee Team USA’s WinterFest presented by HERSHEY® is bringing the energy and excitement of the 2018 Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games to Carnival on Saturday, February 3 adjacent to Rice Park. The tour will feature meet and greets with former Olympians, a Bobsled Boomerang, and a Curling Challenge. Plus, the Hershey®’s S’moresmobile will be a free treat for visitors.
· Through January 31, the Little Free Library® nonprofit is holding an “Ice Your Library Contest.” Creative book lovers across the U.S. are encouraged to decorate their neighborhood Little Free Libraries with ice, snow, or other wintry decorations for prizes. littlefreelibrary.org/ice
· Looking for an option before watching the Big Game on February 4? Join us in Landmark Center for Ladies Day, a day of shopping from women-owned businesses, fashion shows, designer purse bingo, and a fitness class.
· Minnesota’s iconic food, the hotdish, is front and center at the Saint Paul Winter Carnival’s Fancy Hotdish Challenge presented by Kowalski’s Market and hosted by The Lexington. Wednesday, Feb. 7, seven local restaurants will compete to see who can serve up the best dish of Minnesota comfort food. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at WinterCarnival.com.