Capital crush: Busy St. Paul braces for swarm of Saturday visitors


It's as if some event planner in the sky rolled the location dice and a Yahtzee of St. Pauls showed up.

OK, there's probably a better simile ... but however you describe it, there will be a whole lot of visitors converging on one district of Minnesota's capital city Saturday.

The city's visitor's bureau, Visit St. Paul, created a web page to assist the crowds heading into town for events including the Red Bull Crashed Ice competition, the North Star College Cup hockey games, a Winter Carnival parade, a Sam Smith concert and a handful of other events.

Most of the crowds are headed not just to St. Paul, but to the same part of the city – stretching from the Cathedral past the Xcel Energy Center into Rice Park.

Crashed Ice, which is expected to attract about 100,000 people, is among several of the events that are free, WCCO notes.

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The Pioneer Press provides a "what you need to know" about Crashed Ice. It includes the reminder that there's no parking at the site.

Visitors to the Red Bull Crashed Ice site can download a pass for a free Metro Transit ride to the event. Or take a shuttle from an off-site parking lot or any of 40 or so restaurants and bars offering rides.

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If you do plan on driving to St. Paul, the city warns there will be no parking on the side streets of the Cathedral Hill neighborhood. Here's a map of parking ramps downtown. City officials advise allowing plenty of extra time to get around the city.

In addition to the extreme skaters, carnival goers and hockey fans, KARE 11 says there will also be cat lovers headed to the Saintly City Cat Club show at the convention center; fans of singer Kat Perkins, who has a free concert in Rice Park; opera buffs headed to the Ordway Center; and the regular Saturday crowd at A Prairie Home Companion.

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