Bundle up! Winter Carnival, 'Crashed Ice' open in St. Paul


St. Paul officials expect the revelers who make an annual pilgrimage to downtown St. Paul to celebrate Minnesota's season of cold and ice won't bat a frosted eyelid at the deep freeze gripping the metro.

The 127-year-old grand dame of city traditions, the St. Paul Winter Carnival – along with its much younger, high-energy sibling, Crashed Ice – open Thursday.

The carnival kicks off with ice carving contests and music in Rice Park Thursday. The 11-day event, designed to celebrate winter just when Minnesotans are cursing it most, includes a variety of quirky events and characters, from the Klondike Kate cabaret to the St. Paul Vulcans.

Two high-profile events are the King Boreas Grande Day Parade, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26; and the Torchlight Parade at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2.

Here's the calendar of winter carnival events.

Crashed Ice also officially opens Thursday. In short, the event draws 180 thrill seekers and daredevils who sail down a 1,300-foot ice ramp on hockey skates in a series of races. A local corporate lawyer will be among them, WCCO reports. Here's a great Pioneer Press slideshow of what it looks like.

And here's a helmet cam view:

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