Skip to main content

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.

Next Up

Dean Evason

Tempers flare as Wild hammer Canadiens

Montreal was anything but polite after the Wild picked up an 8-2 victory.

Blaine VFW video screengrab crop N West Twitter

Authorities now looking into MN lawmaker's report of assault

Video shows Rep. Nolan West being grabbed and pushed out of a public event.

TajPharmaImages WIkimedia Commons ivermectin

COVID treatments: Essentia Health to help test 3 existing meds

The clinical trial includes the much-discussed drug ivermectin.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 3.48.57 PM

Suspect crashes into Minneapolis snow plow, fires shots at plow driver

The plow driver was pulled to the side of the road when the incident happened.

cold Minneapolis

Coldest day of the winter is possible this week in Minnesota

An air temp of -30F isn't out of the question too far from the metro.

polley freeborn county jail roster jan 2022 resize

District fires school counselor accused of sexually assaulting student

He's been charged with felony criminal sexual conduct.

Moorhead family

Authorities pinpoint source of CO that killed family of 7

The victims, all members of Hernandez-Pinto family, were found dead in a Moorhead home.

polymet mining

Court issues mixed ruling on PolyMet, orders more analysis on water permit

The court, however, overruled several challenges to the permit.

SPPD Kua person of interest 01-24-2022

Police release images of woman driving stolen Audi that had puppy inside

It's not clear whether she was involved in the vehicle theft.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Fatal hit-and-run driver can avoid prison time with plea deal

He was charged with striking and killing a 56-year-old who was walking her dog.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 11.21.49 AM

Alex Rodriguez: 'I'm not a Packers fan'

He was at Lambeau screaming "Cheese!" and "Let's go!" during the playoff game against the 49ers.


Start saving those empties! Milk carton boat races are back this summer

The former mainstay of the Minneapolis Aquatennial is a free-standing event now, along with sand castle building.

st. paul winter carnival ice sculpture

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.

A big blue dude has taken up roost in the Twin Cities

He arrived Thursday – and looks like he plans to stay.

Another Twin Cities golf course plans to close

Both Minneapolis and St. Paul will be losing courses

Another Twin Cities golf course plans to close

Both Minneapolis and St. Paul will be losing courses

There'll be music on ice at the Winter Carnival this year

A nightly music lineup on a stage of ice is part of the 2017 St. Paul Winter Carnival