Winter Carnival includes courtyard of ice
It's been 11 years since the St. Paul Winter Carnival built its last ice palace, but 2015 organizers are bringing some ice back. It's not a whole palace, but a Royal Courtyard is planned for Rice Park. Festival-goers can expect a children's slide...
It’s been 11 years since the St. Paul Winter Carnival built its last ice palace, but 2015 organizers are bringing some ice back.
It’s not a whole palace, but a Royal Courtyard is planned for Rice Park.
Festival-goers can expect a children’s slide, sound and light show, king’s chair and legend character cutouts inside the courtyard.
There will be some kind of fire element, although organizers are still working out the details.
The courtyard will be fashioned out of 1,000 blocks of ice, harvested from Lake Phalen starting Jan. 17. Winter Carnival organizers are working with trade unions to find volunteers to harvest the ice.
“We’re trying to continue to build on this tradition - this mini ice palace. We’re doing a Royal Courtyard this year but will continue to build on this to have additional ice features in Rice Park and downtown
St. Paul,” said Rosanne Bump, president of the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, which puts on the Winter Carnival.
St. Paul built its first ice palace to attract tourists in 1885. To date, the St. Paul Winter Carnival has built 36 ice palaces.
Organizers are still determining a modest fee for courtyard entry. Activities outside the courtyard - including ice sculptures, the entertainment stage and the ice bar - are still free.
The 2015 Winter Carnival kicks off Jan. 22 with the Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade at 5 p.m. Bring anything you have that lights up to this free walking parade that starts at the Securian building.
Highlights of the “Coolest Celebration on Earth” include the King Boreas Grande Day Parade at 2 p.m. Jan. 24 and the Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade the final Saturday of the Winter Carnival at 5:30 p.m.
This year, the Red Bull Crashed Ice competition - an extreme, icy race that winds its way from the St. Paul Cathedral down the bluff toward downtown - will return during the first weekend of the Winter Carnival, and the World’s Toughest Rodeo is the final weekend at Xcel Energy Center.
The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.