East Sider crowned King Winter


When a friend first approached lifelong East Sider Greg Pluff about applying for the position of King Winter, he wasn’t too sure about taking on this new role. After all, he is a busy grandfather, he owns his own business as a wedding officiant (ceremoniesbygreg.com), is Chairman of the Trustees at Mounds Park United Methodist Church, is groundskeeper at the church and the parsonage, helps organize a summer community outreach called Urban CROSS (Christians Reaching Out in Service in St. Paul), is an active member of ESABA (East Side Area Business Association), and tends a plot at Skidmore Park Community Gardens – to mention just a few things! But his friend knew Greg’s love for people and his heart for volunteering made him a perfect candidate for the role of King Winter.

Even though Greg had successfully completed all of the steps of the application process, he really had no idea what to expect when he stepped on the stage for the Winter Carnival Senior Royalty coronation ceremony. He was completely surprised when St. Paul Chief of Police Tom Smith crowned him King Winter! The rest of the night was full of pomp and circumstance, a banquet, and bunches of photos, but the best part was seeing the pride and excitement on the faces of his grandchildren.

King Winter LVI Greg Pluff is joined in his court by Queen of the Northlands Gerry Schulz of White Bear Lake; the first ever female Prime Minister, Mary Lou Vining-Berg of Cottage Grove; Lady-in-Waiting Katie Follmer of South St. Paul; and Princess of the Four Winds Cindy Thrasher of St. Paul. Though a typical court has six members, Greg says the five members of his court make an exceptional team and all look forward to their duties. The Senior Royalty will represent the Winter Carnival and St. Paul Parks and Recreation in about 150 appearances this year at area festivals, parades, community events, senior centers, and care facilities. Contact Greg (grgplf @gmail.com) to submit a request for the Senior Royalty to attend your event. Be sure to ask King Winter to bring his scepter to knight someone special!