Winter Carnival starts today, and although the freezing temperatures and high piles of snow that characterize Minnesota can easily keep students and families tucked away inside on weekends, the events — most free — provide motivation to get out. It encourages families to break the pattern, to get out and enjoy the outdoors, by hosting a series of events and fun activities to celebrate the winter season. It is also the oldest winter festival in the United States.
Although the parade was cancelled due to the extreme cold predications this weekend, there are more events hosted in downtown Saint Paul through Feb. 3 in historic spots like Rice Park, the Landmark Center, and the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
There will be activities for every type of person to enjoy, ranging from live music performances to even a fancy hotdish competition. There are several parades held, along with a treasure hunt and a cat show. Both the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition and the Muti-Block Ice Carving Competition will also start on the first day of the carnival. More in-depth information on the events for each day can be found on the Saint Paul Winter Carnival website.
For senior Krista Schlinger, the outing is a tradition in her long Minnesota winters.
“Ever since I was really little I’ve been going to the Winter Carnival. I think we first went because my parents knew a lot of other parents with little kids going and they thought we’d have fun together. I remember one of my favorite things was definitely looking at the ice sculptures they had and watching the parade,” she said.
Some aspects of the carnival are catered towards younger children, but Schlinger and her family still enjoy the event for making some special family time.
“Now it’s a little different to go since I’m older. I think a lot of the stuff is for young kids or adults, but I think we mainly still go just as a chance to spend time with our family because everything is so busy in the winter and we don’t get very much time together,” Schlinger said.
Sophomore Alek Radsan has also attended the carnival with his family and enjoyed his time admiring the different sculptures.
“I just walked around and saw all of the different ice sculptures, that’s probably what I enjoyed most. I got to see a lot of different things and I went with my mom and my dad. One of the best parts was that we also got to see some people that were in the process of making the ice sculptures themselves and that was pretty interesting,” Radsan said. “It was nice because in the winter there’s not always lot to do, but this is something that is a tradition for Minnesota.”
The carnival has something for everyone to enjoy. No matter the age or interest, it’s a great way to get outside and meet new people. More in-depth information on events for each day and details can be found on the Saint Paul Winter Carnival website.