Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

Saint Paul Winter Carnival 2024

JANUARY 25, 2024 - FEBRUARY 04, 2024


For over 100 years, this carnival has brought ice sculptures, wintery games and the reenactment of Nordic myth to St. Paul.

In its 138th year, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival will once more bring snow-bound festivities to the Twin Cities area for 10 days. Aiming to capture the essence of all things classically Minnesotan, the Winter Carnival is steeped in tradition. On February 3, King Borelis will be crowned as the streets of downtown Saint Paul become packed for the King Borealis Day Parade. But his reign shall be short. Just the next day, The Vulcans—a community organization committed to serving St. Paul in the winter—will hold their annual Victory Parade, in which they light the streets of St. Paul in an effort to overthrow King Borealis. That evening, in front of James J. Hill Library, the Vulcans send the King packing and bring summer back to the city. Except, since it’s Minnesota, it just may take a month or two (or three or four) before spring melts through the ice. 

While parts of the carnival may feel like the inventions of bored and cabin-fevered forefathers, rest assured. There are plenty of less mythic events to be held, including a family and kids day, a medallion hunt, a puzzle contest, tobogganing and live music. Holiday lights will fill Rice Park during the carnival’s kick-off event, while ice sculptors start carving their statues for competition. It’s the ideal place to snag some winter-themed selfies around a wood-fire, hot chocolate in hand. Along the way you just might learn a thing or two about the history of one of America’s most beloved cities. 

The Specs

  • Hundreds of thousands usually attend the “coolest celebration on Earth,” over the 10 days. 
  • All Winter Carnival events are free to the public. Find the list of events here
  • While you’re in the area, check out Fifty Grande’s Guide to Minneapolis 


What is the closest airport to St Paul Winter Carnival?

St. Paul Downtown Airport is right across the river from Rice Park.  

Where does the carnival take place exactly?

St Paul Winter Carnival, billed as the oldest winter festival in the U.S., takes place near Rice Park, Landmark Center, and the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

What’s the address of Rice Park?

Rice Park 109 4th St. W. Saint Paul, MN 55102

What’s the address of Minnesota State Fairgrounds?

1265 Snelling Ave NSaint Paul, Minnesota 55108

This is my first time attending. What can I expect?

Get ready to celebrate winter. The carnival in downtown St. Paul includes ice carving competitions, ice sculptures, ice palaces (see a trend?), parades, snow sculpting competitions, hockey games, ice fishing tournaments, live music, food events, family-friendly artistic activities, and much more. One of the carnival signature events is the King Boreas Grande Day Parade, which features live music, floats and, the newly crowned King Boreas and his royal family.

Is the festival ADA accessible? 

While the Winter Carnival encourages all to attend, there is no specific information regarding accessibility. 

Is there lodging nearby?

Downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis have a wide variety of hotel options to stay in.

What are the details of the annual treasure hunt? 

The Saint Paul Pioneer Press prints clues in their publication over 12 consecutive days and the clues lead participants to a medallion. There prizes for finding the medallion are worth up to $10,000.

Who produces the Saint Paul Winter Carnival?

The Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation produce the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.


BY Sébastien Luc Butler