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Here's the plan for loving winter in the Twin Cities

Big winter events in St. Paul and Minneapolis will join forces to promote the fun as 'The Great Northern'

The logo for The Great Northern festival shows a flag sticking out of a dome that looks a little like the State Capitol -- but even more like an igloo.

And that's on purpose. Because the idea is to show the world that here in Minnesota we have winter – and in the middle of it we have a party.

The concept of this Twin Cities festival was rolled out on Thursday but its main ingredients are not really new. They're being repackaged in a way that's meant to give them a little more marketing juice on the national stage.

3 main events spread over 10 days

This winter The Great Northern will extend from January 26 through February 5. That's when St. Paul will hold its annual Winter Carnival and Minneapolis will have both the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships and the ski festival known as the City of Lakes Loppet.

But instead of seeing the others as competition, organizers of each event have now joined forces to promote them all as one big winter celebration.

Minneapolis restaurant owner Eric Dayton said at Thursday's ceremony that the idea behind The Great Northern is to create a festival with a national reputation similar to what Austin, Texas, has done with its South By Southwest festival, the Pioneer Press reports.

Organizers introduced Target as the lead sponsor of The Great Northern. While the main events are already traditions, there will be some new additions including an art project that was announced by former Mayor R.T. Rybak of the Minneapolis Foundation.

This winter will give the event a chance to get its feet wet (icy?) before the 2018 Great Northern is held around the Super Bowl in Minneapolis on Feb. 4.

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