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3 winter festivals in the Twin Cities this weekend

The Great Northern, The City of Lakes Loppet and St. Paul Winter Carnival are all underway.

It'll be a busy weekend in the Twin Cities as Minnesotans in the bold north brave the cold at three separate festivals aimed at celebrating winter.

The Great Northern's 10-day festival that celebrates Minnesota's cold winters starts Thursday and highlights two other events that take place at the same time: The St. Paul Winter Carnival and The City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival (it typically highlights the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, but it was canceled due to COVID-19).

The Eric Dayton-founded festival features a variety of programming from Jan. 28-Feb. 7. You can find a schedule of "divers programming that invigorate mind and body" here

St. Paul Winter Carnival 

The St. Paul Winter Carnival, which begins Thursday, Jan. 28, and runs through Feb. 7. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most events are being drive-through or virtual, including the popular ice and snow sculpture park, which is a drive-through event. 

You can find a schedule of events online here

City of Lakes Loppet

The City of Lakes Loppet is an urban ski festival at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis that is held on two weekends this year, on Jan. 29-31 and Feb. 6-7 (it's typically a three-day festival, but COVID). 

Here's a schedule of events, which include the popular Luminary Loppet each night, as well as other cross-country ski races, a skate ski race, skijor loppet, and a snowshoe loppet, among other events that have all been modified to ensure people's safety amid the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is reopening to the public on Feb. 4. 

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