If the cold weather isn't a big enough indication winter is just around the corner, the unveiling of the 2016 St. Paul Winter Carnival buttons sure is.
The "coolest celebration on earth" unveiled the four button designs during an event at Rice Park Saturday night. The kickoff event coincided with the annual Rice Park tree lighting ceremony and the WinterSkate grand opening.
The buttons are sold for $5 each or $19 for the collector's pack, and those funds go to the St. Paul Festival Heritage Foundation, which puts on the carnival every year. You can buy them at Cub Foods stores, SuperAmerica, various retailers and on the Winter Carnival website.
Buttons are the biggest fundraising source for the carnival, the Star Tribune reported last year. They provide discounts during the carnival and can be registered online to win prizes and money during the 130th Winter Carnival, which begins Jan. 28 and runs through Feb. 7 at various venues in downtown St. Paul.
The carnival involves dozens of events, including the Securian Winter Run, the Winter Beer Dabbler, Rice Park ice sculptures, parades and the popular medallion hunt, Visit St. Paul says. (Click here for a calendar of events.)
The St. Paul Winter Carnival is among the top winter festivals in the country, the Star Tribune said, with attendance averaging about 250,000 every year, the carnival's website says.