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The 138th St. Paul Winter Carnival begins on January 25, 2024. The oldest U.S. winter festival, it will run 10 days, ending on Sunday, February 4. Over one hundred thousand people are expected to attend the Winter Carnival. It attracts people from the Twin Cities and beyond, all coming to celebrate winter in Minnesota.
Landmark Center in the heart of downtown St. Paul and the Minnesota State Fairgrounds will be the main venues for the carnival events. Businesses throughout the city will be the sites for some of the activities.
The festival has expanded each year to reflect changing demographics. Landmark Center features free entertainment activities from diverse cultures. Food and merchandise booths will have food and items from around the globe.
The legend of Boreas, King of the Winds, has been an important part of the festival since its inception. Volunteers play Boreas, his Royal Guards, Aurora Queen of Snows and the Wind Princes and Princesses. The magic of the Winter Carnival will begin with the Royal Coronation of this year’s Boreas. Members of the Royal Family will make appearances at events throughout the festival.
Carnival activities will include
- Fishing Tournament (Ice optional)
- Memorabilia Auction
- Laser Light Show
- The 70s Magic Sunshine Band
- Scavenger Hunts
- Curling at Frogtown Curling Club
- Klondike Kate Cabaret
- Fire & Ice Winter Run
- Bloody Marys & Bingo
- Ice Carvings For Kids
- Winter Carnival Food Court
- Helicopter Rides
- Taste of Rondo Block Party
- Ice Carving Competitions
- Outdoor Hockey Games
- Vocal Interpretation (lip sync) Competition
- Hunt For The Golden Beer Can
- Beard Growing Competition
- CynCity Walking & Trolley Tours
- King Boreas Grande Day Parade
- Vulcan Torchlight Parade
- Puzzle Contest
- Ice Sculptures
- Kids & Family Day
- Vulcan Snow Park
- Snow Sculpting Competition
- Winter Carnival Store
Most of the activities are free.
What to Wear
One thing you can count on – St. Paul in January will be cold. It is recommended that you dress in layers. And you’d be well advised to wear
- Snow pants for women
- Snow pants for men
- Water resistant coats for women
- Water resistant coats for men
- Water resistant boots for women
- Water resistant boots for men
While you’re in St. Paul, be sure to enjoy some of the city’s favorite food. Try wild rice soup, tater tot hotdish, Juicy Lucy and more. If you enjoyed the food and want to learn more about it, try these cookbooks. You can use our links to see how much you can save on each one.
- The Great Minnesota Hot Dish: Your Cookbook for Classic Comfort Food by Theresa Millage and Karen Corbett
- Land of 10,000 Plates: Stories & Recipes From Minnesota by Patrice M. Johnson
- The Great Minnesota Cookie Book by Lee Svitak Dean
- Best of the Best from Minnesota by Gwen McKee
St. Paul Hotels & Airfare
If you’d like to visit St. Paul for the Winter Carnival, you should consider the following hotels. They are all offering discounted rates which can save you money on your stay.
- Park Plaza Mall of America 30% Discount
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Bloomington 30% Discount
- Radisson Blu Mall of America 30% Discount
- Quality Inn & Suites Arden Hills – St. Paul North 21% Discount
- Comfort Inn & Suites St. Paul Northeast 21% Discount
- Cambria Hotel Bloomington Mall of America 21% Discount
- Quality Inn & Suites Mall of America – MSP Airport 21% Discount
- Comfort Inn MSP Airport – Mall of America 19% Discount
- Radisson Hotel St. Paul Downtown 15% Discount
- MainStay Suites MSP Airport – Mall of America 10% Discount
- Suburban Studios Bloomington 10% Discount
If you’re going to be flying to St. Paul, book your airline ticket here and you can save money on your flight.