Thousands of ice blocks harvested from Lake Phalen for St. Paul Winter Carnival

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Preparations are underway in Rice Park for the annual St. Paul Winter Carnival next weekend.

Crews harvested ice from Lake Phalen Saturday, which will be used to construct the new Royal Courtyard, MPR News reports.

Winter Carnival staff and volunteers helped carve out over a thousand blocks, which each weight about 450 pounds, and bring them to Rice Park, reports note.

"It's a fun process! You work with nice people, you meet a lot of nice people – and it's a good thing to be involved with the community and the Winter Carnival because Minnesota is a unique place to live and it's always fun to do stuff in the winter," volunteer Jim Brown told KARE 11.

The winter carnival runs from Jan. 22 through Feb. 1 and it's free to attend.

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