What to see at the St Paul Winter Carnival

Last updated on August 12th, 2019

This weekend we decided to check out the St Paul Winter Carnival. It is the’ coolest celebration on earth’. Well, most years. They ended up having a warm spell this weekend, which made for a bit more of a challenge for many of the ice sculptors at Rice Park. I talked with a friend of mine at Metro Ice Sculptures and he recommended that because of the warm temps, we should get out there a little earlier in the day. He was very concerned about the possible melting conditions. If you’ve taken a look at some of his work, you would know why.

St Paul Winter Carnival

The Rice Park activities were held on two different blocks, kitty-corner from each other. The first block we came to had a free ice rink and a warming house. They also had some pony rides going on. You can rent skates right there and have a good time.

The second square had all the ice competitions going on. For me it was the main event. The multi-block competition was already done so we saw those final pieces. But the single block competitions was still in progress. The competitors have from 9am -3pm to create their sculptures. They had a variety of different chainsaws and sanding tools, as well as the smaller chisels too. The ice was still flying when we got there, making it very exciting for the kids to see. My personal experiences with sculpting stopped at modeling clay. The subtractive sculpting always scared me too much. What if I made a mistake? I think that is why I find the ice sculpting so cool. My daughter decided that is what she wants to do when she grows up. My husband thinks we should give her an ice cube at home and let her give it a try.

Ice Carving at the St Paul Winter Carnival

Fish Carving


Your guide to the St. Paul Winter Carnival. All things ice related.


Snowplow Competition

They were also holding the Autonomous Snowplow Competition at Rice Park. It is where college teams had to create a machine that is able to clear a path of snow. The technologies controlled by GPS, Laser or Optical navigation. The terrain was set up to mimic sidewalks and driveways. Teams were judged on how much snow was removed. As my husband and I looked at these cool devices they created we both wondered if we could get something like that for our home. Think about it, all you would have to do is tell the robot to clear the snow off the driveway when you woke up. You could shower, eat breakfast and get the kids ready, all the while your driveway is being cleared for you.

Snow Plowing

The St Paul Winter Carnival is a little nontraditional in the fact that there is a bunch of things to do spread out all over the city. If you are a city dweller, it’s great. Coming in from the suburbs and if you are not that comfortable with navigating St. Paul, it can be a daunting task to see it all. Depending on the weather, we may try and hit up the snow activities next weekend that’s held at the State Fairgrounds. There is a little more for the kids to do there. We figured it was too melty this weekend and probably not the best time to jump in the snow. Until next year, have fun at the St Paul Winter Carnival.

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