Monday, February 4, 2013

Minnesota Winter Carnival

In 1885 a New York reporter visited St. Paul and declared the city to be another Siberia. He said it was "unfit for human habitation."

Offended by the attack, the people of St. Paul decided to retaliate by showing the world how much fun winter in Minnesota can be.

In 1886 the Minnesota Winter Carnival was born. It was held in the month of January.

One of the highlights of the first Winter Carnival was this ice castle. It was built with over 35,000 blocks of ice taken from Minnesota lakes.

The ice castle has been the centerpiece of a festival that has continued to grow for many years. The festival has included bobsledding, ice horse racing (on frozen lakes), a royal crowning, dogsled races, snow and ice sculpting contests, a parade and much more.

Ice Sculptures
Snow Sculptures
What about you? Have you been to a Winter Carnival? Would you like to go?


  1. This is incredible! Ice horse racing? That's something research-worthy. I love the history you put into this post; so fun!

  2. That is so cool! I love it. A happy spin on cold and snow :)

  3. Not at all a cold person, so I'll say not so much for me. Ah heck, sure, yeah, I'd go once!

    Ice sculptures are pretty cool--talent there.
    ~ Wendy

  4. I would have went for the ice sculptures for sure. Amazing! But I'm not a fan of the cold.

  5. Not to pour ice cubes down anyone's back, but I've done my time schlepping the kiddies around cold stuff. I'm NOT a cold weather fan. Wendy and I can sit inside and wave at you all over steaming hot drinks.
    "You wanna go outside?"
    "NO way. You?"
    "Forget it."
    "More tea?"
    "Why, thank you veddy much."
    Although, I'd love to see the ice horse racing. What kind of shoes are those horses wearing? Or do you shove a merry-go-round pony along a frozen lake?

  6. I've never been to a winter carnival...and I love in Iowa! How ridiculous is that? Those ice sculptures look amazing, though. Between your post and some photos Beth Vogt posted recently of an ice sculpture festival, now I want to go to something like that!

  7. I remember going to see the Ice Castle as a kid with my dad and uncles. Not sure why, don't have any pictures - but it is a good memory. It was so huge! I remember wondering how they made it. To my little mind it was a feat not too unlike the Egyptians and the pyramids (which I was also fascinated with at the time!)

  8. I had no idea something like this existed! The castle is really pretty. But I'd be so cold, I'd have to sit in my car and just duck out for a second or two to look at everything!! Haha.

    1. HAHAHA!! I loved that image of you hopping in and out of your car to peek at the crazy cold people.

  9. I tend to be freezing when its 65 degrees outside so I don't know if I'd be able to hang with the whole winter carnival thing...but I like to think I could tough it out! ;)

  10. I didn't even know there was such a thing as winter carnivals. How FUN!!!

  11. I've been to an ice sculpting fest.

    Love the pictures. Looks like fun!


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