St Paul Winter Carnival: Ice sculptures, snow sculptures and plenty of cold

The St Paul Winter Carnival mission statement says nothing about finding a reason for people to leave their homes in horrible, horrible weather – but you know that had to be a factor when the founders were at the original planning table. And to be fair, there’s not much I would have ventured outdoors for last weekend except snow and ice sculptures. We didn’t spend a lot of time out there, but we enjoyed it. We visited the ice sculptures, we checked out the St Paul Civic Symphony and we made a mad dash to see the snow sculptures on the state fairgrounds. Emphasis on mad!

The ice sculptures in Rice Park are beautiful, especially when they catch the sun. I’m not sure how those artists can work in the extreme cold this year but the work is wonderful. We learned a little bit about how they are judged. Apparently the judges look at technique, technical difficulty, initial impression, finishing touches, adherence to original design and clean up around the sculpture. It was fun to sneak a peek at a few of the original drawings and the completed pieces.

The St Paul Civic Symphony was a total bonus. I figured they would have something happening at the Landmark Center. What they had was a singalong of Mozart’s Requiem! It was fascinating. There was an orchestra and singers peppered throughout the audience and audience members were invited to join in the singing. Many of them did. It was like live stereo action. We loved it! It was also an opportunity to walk around visit the various museums in the Landmark Center, such as the The Schubert Club Museum with its historical musical instruments. We got a delightful tour of instruments and it was fun to learn about how the instruments had an impact on the music. The first two iterations of the piano had two volumes, loud and quiet. So transitions were not possible and therefore the compositions written during use the binary approach to music – loud or quiet, no tapering. We learned that because of the St Paul Winter Carnival: a great reason to get out in the cold weather. 

Finally we took a quick trip to the State Fairgrounds to see the snow sculptures. They are huge and so well done. And there is absolutely no wind cover. So we ran through as quickly as possible snapping pictures. If we get another warmer day to check it out, we will check it out again. 


Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.

Rice Park
Saint Paul, MN 55102
651-226-6400

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    Ann Treacy's picture
    Ann Treacy

    Ann Treacy lives in the Twin Cities. For work, she writes about broadband in Minnesota. After hours she write about travels and adventures around town.