2021 Saint Paul Winter Carnival Planning Underway
135th Anniversary to Feature Signature Events with a Twist and New Activities
January 28 – February 7
Event Will Feature A Drive-Thru Ice and Snow Sculpture Park at Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Saint Paul, Minn. (October 21, 2020) — Organizers from the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, the producers of the Winter Carnival, announce today that planning for the next “Coolest Celebration on Earth™” is well underway. Although, the Carnival will be different than in years past, it is sure to still be legendary.
The 2021 Saint Paul Winter Carnival will be held January 28 – February 7. This will be the festival’s 135th anniversary further fortifying the fact that it is the oldest winter festival in the United States. Changes have been made to accommodate protocols related to COVID-19 while still making it possible for the community to celebrate and embrace winter.
“The Winter Carnival was created in 1886 to show the world how Saint Paul embraces winter,” says Deb Schaber, President and CEO of the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation. “We believe we’ve created a schedule of events for our 135th anniversary that our Carnival creators would be proud of and our current day fans can enjoy safely. The majority of our 2021 events will be held outdoors and all will abide by COVID-19 required protocols such as social distancing and mask wearing.”
Traditions with A Twist
Some of Winter Carnival’s annual events are being revised or removed due to the pandemic. The organization is not able to host the traditional parades or hold events in Rice Park because of crowd size limitations. However, there will still be plenty of opportunities for safe fun for all ages in Saint Paul and beyond. Here are some highlights of the cool happenings that are in the works including new twists on signature events, virtual opportunities, and activities to get people outdoors and exploring our great City of Saint Paul. *
Combining two signature Winter Carnival events – the Ice Carving Competition and the Snow Sculpture Contest – this drive-thru experience will take place at the State Fairgrounds each day during the Carnival.
Upon entering, each car will receive a swag bag, bingo card, and the chance to purchase some treats to enjoy during the ride. Dozens of visual stops will showcase snow and ice masterpieces sculpted by local artisans, many of whom have participated in past Winter Carnival contests. Attendees will be able to vote on their favorite creations.
The Winter Carnival Ice Carvings will move from Rice Park to the Fairgrounds to create the Ice and Snow Sculpture Park. And, once again, the Winter Carnival Vulcans will manage the snow sculpture attraction. As in years past, the Vulcans will coordinate the snow making and the annual Snow Stomp event used to create the huge blocks for artists to sculpt their snowy works of art. The Vulcans, as well as the Royal Family and Klondike Kates, are expected make several appearances at the drive-thru.
In tune with the times, the annual Winter Carnival Music Series is going on the road and will be popping up outdoors at parking lots and establishments around Saint Paul. This format will give us an opportunity to support local restaurants, breweries and entertainment venues while continuing the Winter Carnival Music Series. The concert sites will serve the food and drinks and Carnival will bring the entertainment – and our famous Ice Bar.
For both Saturdays during Carnival (January 30 and February 6), families can gather ‘round their computers and smart TVs in the comfort and safety of their homes to participate in our Family Day activities. Each day’s schedule will be filled with entertaining performances, educational seminars, arts and crafts lessons, storytelling sessions, and much more. This content will go live on our website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel and then be available for “re-runs” forever.
Another Carnival tradition and Foundation fundraiser, the Securian Financial Winter Run, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 30 with a 5K around Lake Phalen. Runners can also participate virtually with 5K, 10K and a Half Marathon.
Bundle up the kids and join us outside to embrace winter! This all-ages event at Keg and Case will include entertaining performances, visits by snow princesses, a bonfire, and family-friendly activities. The Winter Carnival Junior Royalty Court and other special guests will stop by to join the fun.
We’ve pieced together a new way for people to participate in the enormously popular Winter Carnival Puzzle Contest. On Sunday, Jan. 31, a virtual puzzle contest will be conducted via Zoom. Teams will be able to compete against each other remotely and in the comfort of their own homes. The traditional Saint Paul Winter Carnival Puzzle Contest, known as the nation’s largest, will take place in-person and socially-distanced at Landmark Center on the morning of Saturday, January 30. As of today, 180 teams of four have already registered!
We’re brrrrrrringing back a classic hit from Carnival’s history – the Winter Carnival Softball Tournament. Games will be held outdoors on a snowy St. Paul ballfield (site to be determined) on Saturday, Feb. 6. Registration will begin in January. Sign up and batter up or catch a game on the sidelines.
Winter Carnival fans will be able to take part in three different scavenger hunts: Family Friendly Explore Saint Paul Parks, Saint Paul History & Landmarks, and Local Fun & Attractions. The Winter Carnival Scavenger Hunt will allow folks to have some socially distanced fun while learning about the great City of Saint Paul.
2021 Saint Paul Winter Carnival Buttons
One of Minnesota’s most popular and recognized artists, Adam Turman, is designing the 135th Anniversary Winter Carnival button collection. Turman will take his bold and colorful style to create four buttons that will be unveiled and on sale in early December. The sale of the commemorative buttons is the largest fundraiser for the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation.
Saint Paul Winter Carnival Legend Characters
Traditionally, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival Legend Characters make hundreds of appearances each year representing the City across the state and the country by participating in parades, appearing at charity events, and making visits to senior centers and schools. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 Royal Family, Vulcans, and Klondike Kate did not have the opportunity to practice their parade wave, meet new friends in the community, or travel to other festivals. So, Boreas and his court, Vulcanus Rex and his Krewe, and Kate will all reign for another year. The Klondike Kates are also marking a special anniversary in 2021, their 50th year!
The Saint Paul Winter Carnival relies on hundreds of volunteers in order for the events to be a success. Leading up to and throughout Carnival, there are numerous opportunities to donate your time and talent. Please visit our website (wintercarnival.com/get-involved/volunteer/) or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join the team.
About the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation and the Saint Paul Winter Carnival
The Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation is a non-profit membership organization that produces Minnesota’s Iciest and Spiciest festivals – Saint Paul Winter Carnival and Cinco de Mayo West Side Saint Paul. 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. Visit wintercarnival.com for more information and to learn how you can support future Winter Carnival celebrations by becoming a member.
Social Media Channels
Facebook – /stpaulwinter
Twitter – @StPaulWinter
Instagram – @stpaulwintercarnival
Hashtag – #wintercarnival
*Event details subject to change.
Media Contact: Molly Mulvehill Steinke, Nemer Fieger, email@example.com, 612-309-1677
Read Full PDF 2021 Saint Paul Winter Carnival Announcement Here!
Dear Saint Paul Winter Carnival Supporter,
On behalf of the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation (SPFHF), we would like to express our sincere appreciation for your support of Saint Paul's favorite events: The Saint Paul Winter Carnival and Cinco de Mayo – West Side Saint Paul. Through the foundation, we support something that connects our community’s history and local businesses together. As our community continues to change, we work hard to evolve and to make sure our legacy events reflect this. Our supporters, volunteers and members are the heart and soul of our foundation. Our volunteer board of directors works tirelessly throughout the year to represent you, and we all know how important it is to celebrate our community.
In these unprecedented times, we need your help to continue the growth of the Saint Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation. The future of events is changing. Before COVID-19, we have watched our expenses continue to rise and pressure on sponsor dollars has increased over the last few years. The event world and what our foundation can produce have changed with the current climate of COVD-19.
Not only will SPFHF see increased regulations and expenses, it will be harder to raise the funds to produce our foundation events. We expect sponsor dollars and budgets to be down because our partners are dealing with the same situations during this shutdown. We don’t know what the rest of the year will bring, never mind the next month, but our CEO and Board of Directors are thinking long-term. They are committed to moving forward with the best intentions for the organization’s mission and purpose.
Below are some updates from the past couple months:
SPFHF has had serious challenges in years past and because of support from our members, sponsors and volunteers, we overcame them. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival has survived 134 years thus far and the members of this Board and our CEO are determined to buckle down to overcome the financial issues before us. We will continue to fulfill our mission to foster a sense of community pride, belonging and connectedness by producing and promoting community education, programs, and festivals, along with other celebrations for the enjoyment of the people of Saint Paul and its surrounding communities. We will keep the Foundation viable for decades to come!
As we head into our 135th year of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, becoming a member will help us create meaningful experiences during this special anniversary year. It is our goal that all people can enjoy our festival activities at no/low cost during our 10-day carnival. Your support is so crucial in fulfilling our mission. Your support is needed now more than ever, to help us regain some of our lost income.
NOW is the time to join or renew your Foundation Membership to allow our CEO and Board to continue their work towards making future events possible. The 135th Coolest Celebration on Earth will not happen without the support of our members. Please take a moment and renew your membership today by visiting our website www.wintercarnival.com and click on “become a member”, complete the enclosed form and mail it with your payment, or Text 44-321 and enter SPFHF. Our fiscal year runs June 1st-May 31st so now is the time!
These are unprecedented times. If you have questions, concerns, or new ideas, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, and we hope everyone stays safe and healthy as we work together through these challenging circumstances.
Don't forget to like & follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for more up-to-date details.
We look forward to connecting with you over the coming year!
Deb Schaber Amy Mauzy Kat Christopherson
President / CEO SPFHF Board Chair SPFHF Membership Chair
With the celebration of the Winter Carnival 135th Anniversary, we have created a unique membership level to honor the Anniversary. Members at $135 level or higher will receive this custom member only pin.
Become a Member.pdf
May has arrived and with it more information from our State and City officials on happenings and events taking place in the Twin Cities and beyond. Like every other non-profit organization, the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation is feeling the effects of the Governor’s state shut down directive, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have had to postpone not only our annual Cinco de Mayo celebration, but two of our spring fundraising events. Combined with the closing of our four gambling establishments, we are looking at a loss to the Foundation of over $60,000 thus far in 2020.
The cost to run Festivals in Minnesota has increased as well. To run a FREE festival, our Foundation needs to pay:
The Board of Directors and our CEO have been working hard every day to keep the Foundation financially sound through these unprecedented times. We applied for and received a Payroll Protection Assistance as part of the CARES Act, which will help us with payroll and other expenses this summer. Our board and our Finance Committee are always looking for ways to bring in new revenue.
A fun way to support the Foundation is happening tomorrow night (5/6); 6:30-8:30pm on our Facebook page:
Join us for our very first #WinterCarnivalWednesday! Kick back and enjoy a virtual concert from the comfort of your home! We are asking for a suggested donation of $20 to enjoy the show with us. There will be other opportunities throughout the night for larger contributors, along with prize giveaways from the band, and the Winter Carnival. We hope to see you all on-line tomorrow night. Thank you to SPIRE Credit Union for their contributions to the event!
The SPFHF has had serious challenges in years past and because of support from our members, sponsors, and volunteers, we overcame them. We have survived 134 years thus far and the members of this Board and our CEO are determined to buckle down to overcome the financial issues before us. We will continue to fulfill our mission to foster a sense of community pride, belonging and connectedness by producing and promoting community education, programs, festivals, along with other celebrations for the enjoyment of the people of Saint Paul and its surrounding communities and keep the SPFHF viable for decades to come!
Thank you for your continued support of the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation. These are scary and uncertain times for non-profits and the teamwork I see happening every day with Board Members, Foundation staff, sponsors, and volunteers, is inspiring!
SPFHF Board Chair
How can you help?
As we enter into our 135th year celebrating The Coolest Celebration Earth, your support is needed now more than ever, to help us regain some of our lost income.. Please take a moment and renew your membership today by visiting our website www.wintercarnival.com and click on “become a member”, complete the enclosed form and mail it with your payment, or Text 44-321 and enter SPFHF. Our fiscal year runs June 1st-May 31st so now is the time!
Dear SPFHF members, volunteers, and beyond:
In these unprecedented times, I wanted to reach out to share that you, your family, friends, and colleagues are in our thoughts.
We are all concerned and things are changing quickly—each day feels like five news cycles. Our first priority is the health and safety of our staff, visitors, and volunteers. As we navigate through a constantly changing situation, I would like to assure you that we are looking to the future and planning ahead for the latter half of 2020 as well as the 135th Saint Paul Winter Carnival celebration in 2021.
The future of events is changing. Before COVID, we have watched this happen over the last few years as expenses continue to raise and pressure on sponsor dollars has increased. The event world and what our foundation can produce have changed with the current climate of COVD-19.
Not only will we see increased regulations and expenses, it will be harder to raise the funds we need to produce events. We expect sponsor dollars and budgets to be down because our partners are dealing with the same situations during this shutdown. We are being smart, hopeful and committed to moving forward. We don’t know what the rest of the year will bring, never mind the next month but our CEO and Board are thinking long-term about what is best for the organization’s mission and purpose. Below are some updates from the past few weeks:
How Can YOU Help?
Now more than ever your support is needed. Membership dollars and are dedicated to the general operating fund of the Saint Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation. Corporate, family and individual membership support provides for year-round administration and management necessary to ensure the continued growth and success of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival and Cinco de Mayo. Membership runs concurrent with our fiscal year, June 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021.
*If you became a new member in January prior to Carnival, you will need to renew by May 31 to keep your membership current.
NOW is the time to join or renew to allow our CEO and Board to continue their work towards making future events possible. The 135th Coolest Celebration on Earth will not happen without the support of members.
These are unprecedented times. If you have questions, concerns, new ideas, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com. Thank you and we hope everyone stays safe and healthy as we work together through these challenging circumstances.
SPFHF Board Chair
Tourism Industry Achievements Highlighted at Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (Feb. 26, 2020) – During the 2020 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, held at Arrowwood Resort last night, several individuals, organizations and tourism businesses were recognized at the annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Awards for their contributions to the state’s $16 billion travel industry.
The Saint Paul Winter Carnival took home one of those awards, The 2019 Only In MN Icon Award.
ABOUT EXPLORE MINNESOTA
As the state's tourism promotion office, Explore Minnesota pursues an entrepreneurial approach, leveraging the state's tourism investment with increased involvement by the private sector. Tourism is a $16.0 billion industry in Minnesota, and a key sector of the state's economy. The leisure and hospitality industry employs nearly 273,000 workers, representing 11 percent of Minnesota's private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality also generates $1.0 billion of the state's sales tax revenues. Minnesota welcomes more than 73 million domestic and international travelers annually.
Saint Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation
429 Landmark Center, 75 W 5th St
Saint Paul, MN 55102