Twin Cities Mom Collective

Saint Paul Winter Carnival | Coming up January 26 – February 5, 2023

Provided by the Saint Paul Winter Carnival

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is an annual festival set to take place January 26 – February 5, 2023. The “Coolest Celebration on Earth™” will feature tons of events both old and new! The Saint Paul Winter Carnival was started in 1886 and is the oldest winter festival in the United States. This is the 137th year!


The majority of events will take place in downtown Saint Paul, in and around Rice Park and Landmark Center, as well as at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Historic Rice Park will once again serve as the central location for many Saint Paul Winter Carnival festivities, including live musical entertainment, the ice carving competitions, food vendors, beverages at the ice bars, and the culmination site of both parades.

Most events are FREE, open to the public.

Kicking off January 26, 2023

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival will kick off on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m. with the inaugural “Light Up The Park” event in Rice Park. The Royal Family lead the festivities with the telling of the Winter Carnival Legend to confirm the start of the “festival in Old Saint Paul.” A Countdown to Carnival will be conducted with attendees lighting up provided glow sticks and hot air balloon pilots will raise their flames to officially start the 10-day celebration.

Provided by the Saint Paul Winter Carnival

The Warming House powered by Sun Belt will be bigger than ever. Located on Landmark Plaza on Market Street, this will be the perfect gathering place for Carnival goers providing a cozy respite from the outdoors and a chance to enjoy a hot or cold beverage of choice. Offerings will include Northern Soda, hot cocoa, coffee, Baileys Irish Cream, beers, seltzers, hard cider, and mulled wine. This will also be the place for games (trivia, bingo, pull tabs) and live entertainment from local musicians and DJs. Guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations for Hallie Q. Brown Community Center.

The Return of Winter Carnival’s Signature Events

  • Ice Carving Competitions: Beginning Thursday, Jan. 27
    Rice Park will be a-buzz with creativity as artists carve 300-pound blocks of ice during the first weekend of Carnival. The multi-block teams, many who have participated for several years, will have 48 hours to finish their masterpieces with 20 blocks of ice. On Sunday, artists will have five hours to carve in the single block competition.
  • Vulcan Snow Park and the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition:
    Beginning Friday, Jan. 28
    Organized by the Saint Paul Winter Carnival Vulcans, the Fairgrounds will be full of fun-for- the-whole-family activities. The Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition kicks off on Friday, Jan. 27 and the sculpting culminates on Sunday, Jan. 29. Come and see the teams create masterpieces out of 8-foot cubes of snow.
  • King Boreas Grande Day Parade: Saturday, Jan. 28
    This daytime procession will feature dozens of bands, floats, and of course, the newly crowned King Boreas and his Royal Family. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. near Smith Ave., travel down West 7th Street, and conclude in Rice Park.
  • Fire & Ice Run/Walk: Sunday, Jan. 29Runners and walkers of all ages may participate in the 5K, 10K, 15K, 20K, NoK, or the Kid’s Run at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Participants can enjoy the snow sculpting activity while supporting the Saint Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation.
  • Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade: Saturday, Feb. 4
    Vulcanus Rex will bring the heat and his wily ways to light up the streets of downtown Saint Paul. This evening parade starts at 5:30 p.m. at 5th and Wacouta and makes it way to Rice Park. Afterwards, follow the 2023 Krewe to the library steps for the ever-dramatic Overthrow of Boreas. The ceremony will be followed by a fantastic fireworks show.
  • Winter Carnival Kids and Family Day: Saturday, Feb. 4
    From 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Landmark Center will be a-buzz with entertaining performances, arts and crafts, storytelling, and other activities for all ages.

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival was started in 1886 and is the oldest winter festival in the United States. It relies on sponsors, fundraisers, donations, charitable gaming, and foundation members to support its year-round activities. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival attracts more than 250,000 visitors a year and has an approximate $3 – $5 million economic impact to the City of Saint Paul and the State of Minnesota.

For the most current information, please visit *Events are subject to change.

Provided by the Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Related posts

The Great Northern — “One of the World’s Top Winter Festivals” | January 25 – February 5, 2023

Twin Cities Mom Collective

5 Destinations for the Perfect Minnesota Staycation

Rachel Anderson

Outdoor Candlelight Adventures for a Magical Minnesota Winter Night

Rachel Nevergall

Leave a Comment