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Crashed Ice + Winter Carnival + Rodeo = 200K people in St. Paul

A bus or shuttle is recommended for getting in and out of downtown St. Paul Saturday evening.

Don't let your torchlight crash on the ice while you're rolling to the tough rodeo, girl.

OK, that's a pretty lame mash-up of the events in St. Paul that tourism officials expect will draw about 200,000 people to the capital city on Saturday evening.

Whether you want to see the daredevil skaters of Red Bull Crashed Ice, the Winter Carnival's Torchlight Parade, the Cinch World's Toughest Rodeo, or the Minnesota RollerGirls, the city has the same advice: plan ahead.

Those four events – plus a street party tied to Crashed Ice – are all very near each other, which could make getting in and out of the area tricky.

Free bus rides, shuttles

Crashed Ice by itself typically draws 100,000 spectators. And while the racing doesn't start until 6:30 p.m., earlybirds can stake out a prime standing spot at 5.

Plus there's that party on 7th Street at the foot of Cathedral Hill. To save yourself from fighting the traffic and searching for parking, Metro Transit is offering free rides to Crashed Ice goers.

There are also more than a dozen Twin Cities bars offering shuttle rides to the Crashed Ice hill.

Do you think those feisty Vulcans will push King Boreas out of his throne again this year?

We'll find out when their Torchlight Parade makes its way from Lowertown to the Winter Carnival's epicenter in Rice Park. The parade starts at 5:30 and you can also ride a bus there free of charge. We've heard that if the Vulcans do manage to take control (it's a Winter Carnival thing), they'll celebrate with fireworks.

Visit St. Paul has a timeline of Saturday's events. Revelers at the street party will have to move inside a bar – or one of the party tents– at 11 p.m. But, of course, the party will roll on 'til closing time.

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