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Oh dang! Saint Paul Winter Carnival is (mostly) NOT going virtual in 2021

The 2018 Winter Carnival Ice Palace was officially lit Thursday evening in Rice Park in downtown St. Paul. The 70 foot tall palace is the first to grace St. Paul's celebration of winter since 2004. The palace is made up of 4,000 blocks of ice, weighing nearly 4 million pounds. ] BRIAN PETERSON • brian.peterson@startribune.com
St. Paul, MN 01/22/18

The 2018 Winter Carnival Ice Palace was officially lit Thursday evening in Rice Park in downtown St. Paul. The 70 foot tall palace is the first to grace St. Paul's celebration of winter since 2004. The palace is made up of 4,000 blocks of ice, weighing nearly 4 million pounds. ] BRIAN PETERSON • brian.peterson@startribune.com St. Paul, MN 01/22/18

The Art Shanties canceled months ago, and Holidazzle announced last week that it's moving online. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival, however, is still carrying on, with a few slight changes for safety, of course.

This will be the 135th year for the sprawling festival, which celebrates the coldest, snowiest days in Minnesota with a wide variety of events. Traditionally, there are sports tournaments, happy hours, family festivals, live music, and snow and ice sculptures.

And, amazingly? All of that is scheduled to take place this year as well, albeit with some tweaks.

For example, the Minnesota State Fairgrounds will offer a drive-thru experience, where people can cruise through a menagerie of snow and ice sculptures, stop for food and treats, and play games along the way.

The music series, often held in Rice Park, will hit the road, traveling to various parking lots and heated tents at restaurants around St. Paul.

The 5K, 10K, and half marathon is still on this year at Lake Phalen, and there will also be a softball tourney this year. The scavenger hunt is also on the schedule.

As for the kiddos, Keg and Case is hosting a family night, where revelers will find a bonfire, activities, and appearances by the Snow Princesses. There will also be virtual happenings for children scheduled during the festival.

Also cool news: Local printmaker Adam Turman is making this year’s carnival buttons. You may be familiar with his work with the Minnesota State Fair, his public murals (including at places like Butcher and Boar and 612 Brew), and even a City Pages cover or two.

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is scheduled to run January 28 to February 7, 2021.