After some activities were cancelled last year due to the pandemic, the 136th edition of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival be held from January 28-February 6, with the majority of events returning to downtown Saint Paul, in and around Rice Park and Landmark Center, as well as at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Lisa Jacobson of the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation said most events will be free or low-cost, though a few fundraisers have been added to help support the production of this year’s carnival.

One such fundraiser is the carnival’s first Beard Growing Competition. Participants will compete in three categories: Clean Shaven, Lumberjack and Freestyle.

Another is the Winter Carnival Fire & Ice Run/Walk from 8:45-11 a.m. Sunday, January 30, at the State Fairgrounds. This year, runners and walkers may participate in person or virtually in a 5K, 10K, NoK (pay to not run) and Kid’s Run.

The State Fairgrounds will also be home to the Vulcan Snow Park, which will run throughout the carnival. It will feature a snow maze, visits by Vulcanus Rex and his Krewe, and the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition.

Rice Park will once again serve as the central location for many carnival festivities, including the ice carving competitions from January 27-30, live musical entertainment, food and merchandise vendors, ice bars and the culmination of both parades.

CynCity Tours will serve up history and hauntings in the heart of downtown Saint Paul as part of the new Gangsters and Ghosts Walking Tours from January 27-February 6, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Winter Carnival.


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The Orchid Show will be held at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park with free admission on Saturday and Sunday, January 29-30, while the 45th annual Saintly City Cat Show will take place that same weekend at Saint Paul RiverCentre with admission of $3-$4.

Saint Paul Scavenger Hunts will take place on Monday, January 31, and Sunday, February 6, via the GooseChase app, with a small fee to support the festival.

Other highlights of the 2022 Saint Paul Winter Carnival include the following:

Friday, January 28

—Royal Coronation of King Boreas and Aurora, Queen of the Snows. The ticketed event will begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. and the coronation at 8 p.m. Live music will run from 5-10 p.m. on the Rice Park Stage.

Saturday, January 29

—Jigsaw puzzle competition featuring four divisions running from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Landmark Center Cortile.

—King Boreas Grande Day Parade from 2-4 p.m. starting near Smith Avenue and traveling down West Seventh Street before ending in Rice Park.

—Klondike Kate Cabaret beginning at 8 p.m., followed by the Royal Guards’ Rock the Palace at the Saint Paul Hotel. Both are ticketed events.

Sunday, January 30

—A new Winter Carnival Ice Palace Minecraft Event, featuring carnival historian Bob Olsen and the Victoria Theater Arts Center assisting players with creating their own virtual ice palace. The cost is $5, with proceeds benefitting the festival.

Tuesday, February 1

—Frozen Family Fun Night from 5-8 p.m. outside Landmark Plaza, with snow princesses, a bouncy house, and Royal Family appearances.

Wednesday, February 2

—Drag Queen Bingo from 7-10 p.m. at the Saint Paul Event Center, 400 Wabasha St. Admission is $22 (parking included) and bingo is $30.

—New World Cup qualifier watch parties will be held from 6-11:30 p.m. at local establishments to see Team USA vs. Honduras at Allianz Field.

Saturday, February 5

—Union Depot’s Doggie Depot beginning at 10 a.m. featuring the crowning of the Canine King & Queen, giveaways, marketplace, interviews with pet experts and dog yoga.

—Kids and Family Day from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Landmark Center, with exercise, performances, and arts and crafts.

—Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade from 5:30-7:30 p.m. starting at Mears Park and making its way to Rice Park. The Overthrow of Boreas on the library steps, fireworks and Vulcan Victory Dance ($25-$30) will follow.


Carnival participants are encouraged to be fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID test within 72 hours of attendance. For updates, visit


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