The “Coolest Celebration on Earth” is officially kicking off its 138th year of ice sculpting, parades and celebrating all things winter on January 25.
This year’s St. Paul Winter Carnival will feature favorites from years’ past and add a few new twists for families to enjoy during its 10-day run.
2024 Winter Carnival Buttons
The buttons for the 138th St. Paul Winter Carnival button designs were unveiled December 2 at Union Depot. The four buttons for this year’s Carnival were designed by artist Kao Lee Thao, a Frogtown native and the first member of the Hmong community to design the Winter Carnival buttons.
Each button comes with a new Winter Carnival Fun Pass, which provides deals to numerous local businesses. And as a bonus, the Fun Pass gives you a chance to win exclusive prizes and experiences such as a night stay at Great Wolf Lodge or and two tickets to the Tim McGraw Concert at Xcel Energy Center on April 20.
The 2024 Winter Carnival buttons will be available for sale now. Prices are $5 for one and $19 for the collector’s pack of all four. A limited edition four pack with a commemorative glittery snowflake pin will also be available during Winter Carnival for $20. Buttons may also be purchased at Cub Foods, Spire Credit Union, City and County Credit Union, local retailers or online at wintercarnival.com.
Mark your calendars
The 2024 St. Paul Winter Carnival will kick off on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 5:30 p.m. with the “Light The Park” event in Rice Park. The 2023 Royal Family will lead the festivities with the telling of the Winter Carnival Legend to confirm the start of the “Festival in Old St. Paul.” A Countdown to Carnival will be conducted with attendees lighting up provided glow sticks to officially start the 10-day celebration.
In addition, there are events planned throughout St. Paul for the 10 day run of the even (even a few leading up to it), including:
January 25-27 – Ice Carving Competitions
Artists will carve 300-pound blocks of ice during the first weekend of Carnival in Rice Park. The multi-block teams will have 48 hours to finish their masterpieces with 20 blocks of ice. On Sunday, artists will have five hours to carve in the single block competition.
January 26-February 4 – Vulcan Snow Park and Snow Sculpting Competition
The Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition kicks off January 26 at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds. The sculpting competition culminates with the awards announcement on Sunday, Jan. 28, with the sculptures on display until February 4.
January 27 – King Boreas Grande Day Parade
This daytime procession will feature dozens of bands, floats, and of course, the newly crowned King Boreas and his Royal Family. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. near Smith Ave., travel down West 7th Street, and conclude in Rice Park.
February 3 – Vulvan Victory Torchlight Parade
Vulcanus Rex and his Krewe will bring the heat and light up the streets of downtown St. Paul. This evening parade starts at 5:30 p.m. at 5th and Wacouta and makes its way to Rice Park. Afterwards, follow the 2024 Krewe to the library steps for the ever-dramatic Overthrow of Boreas. The ceremony will be followed by fireworks.
New this year, for the duration of the carnival, a 120’ x 50’ warming tent in Rice Park will be a gathering place for Carnival goers to warm up and enjoy live entertainment and music, beverages for all ages, play bingo and pull tabs and get some Winter Carnival merchandise. Guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations for Hallie Q. Brown Community Center and the Winter Carnival Day of Good.
That’s not to mention the dozens of events that are on the calendar or still being planned. The majority of events are free or low cost. For the most current information, event registration and tickets (if necessary), visit wintercarnival.com.