Winter is far from over if that snowstorm that hit the Twin Cities is any indication, so let’s celebrate.
Last weekend, Minnesotans began to celebrate a variety of annual winter festivities with three festivals that are currently underway: The Great Northern, St. Paul Winter Festival, and the City of Lake’s Loppet Festival. The first of these festivals, The Great Northern started January 28th, but spans over 10 days. Some of the events at these festivals will have to be held virtually, but there’s still a ton of fun to be had.
Usually during the Great Northern, there is also a celebration of the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship, but that was canceled due to COVID-19 this year. The Great Northern might look a little different than normal years, but it still will hold events highlighting some of the state’s most talented artists and writers. Make sure to tune in for digital installations, radio and podcast shows, and conversations about a myriad of topics like climate issues, politics, and art.
St. Paul Winter Carnival is still celebrating strong with drive-through installations, pop-ups, and virtual events to enjoy. Their sculpture garden this year will be held each day at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. It will combine two events of the carnival–the Ice Sculpture contest and the Ice Carving contest–to create a dynamic drive-through experience. The route is mapped and upon entering, cars will get a swag bag and bingo card. Treats will be available along the route as well. And just like always, guests will be able to vote for their favorites. Tickets are available at wintercarnival.com . Other activities will be held virtually, like the Winter Family Days and Nights, which will be hosted online and through various social media platforms.
Last but not least is the Loppet Festival, which will span over 2 weeks to safely spread out the participants who have entered in this year’s festivities. This year, they’ll offer ski races in a virtual or hybrid capacity to keep things as safe as possible. There’s a lot of new rules and regulations for maintaining safety during the courses, so make sure to visit their website for more information. The Candlelight Loppet is an annual tradition, and is one of the most magical nights of the festival. Festival goers can walk or snowshoe along the lantern-lit path through Theodore Wirth Park’s ski-trails. Unfortunately, tickets are sold out due to the limited capacity at this year’s event.
Even with all the changes to this year’s festivities, it’s great to see the creativity and innovation behind making sure the celebrations still go on.