2018 Ice Palace Update

There has been a new update on the status of the Ice Palace since the publishing of this article. See here for the latest updates.


Greetings Members, Friends and Supporters,

The 132nd Saint Paul Winter Carnival is gearing up for another “super” year and we are actively working on plans for an extended 2018 Saint Paul Winter Carnival that will connect with Super Bowl events in Saint Paul and across the metro area. The 2018 Saint Paul Winter Carnival – the “Coolest Celebration on Earth™” will be held January 25 – February 10, 2018. We’ll be hosting dozens of events on the calendar, both traditional favorites and new attractions, to entertain our local supporters and out-of-town visitors.

The Foundation’s ice palace team has spent a considerable amount of time working on plans, locations, and costs for the potential 2018 ice structure. This includes looking at places to harvest ice, the architecture and engineering services needed to design the structure, and other planning needed to build and operate an ice structure. At the same time, they have also been in contact with local and national potential sponsors to recruit and secure key funding partners. To move forward with building an ice palace, a minimum budget of $5 million is needed to guarantee financial stability of the ice palace and the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation.

We are disappointed to announce that we were not able to secure financial support to cover costs to allow the project to move forward. As a result, the Foundation has made the decision to cancel the plans and will not be moving forward with an ice palace for the 2018 Winter Carnival.

We were faced with a significant challenge and could not resolve it with the confidence that we could both cover the costs of constructing and operating the ice palace and not negatively impact our organization’s long-term financial future.

So, now we focus on making the extended 2018 Saint Paul Winter Carnival as fun, festive and “cool” as possible. In addition to Carnival’s signature events — the three parades, ice carving competition and snow sculpting contest — next year’s schedule will include a variety of new events and activities, including:

  • The United States Olympic Committee’s Team USA WinterFest presented by HERSHEY is bringing the energy and excitement of the Olympics and Paralympic 2018 Winter Games to the Carnival.
  • The tour will feature meet and greets with figure skating’s gold medal winner Meryl Davis bobsledding gold medal winner Vonetta Flowers; as well as Olympians Jeremy Bloom (Ski and Snowboard), and Charlie White (Figure Skating). Other highlights include Hershey’s S’moresmobile, a Bobsled Boomerang, and a Curling Challenge.
  • Rice Park will be transformed into a spectacular Ice Sculpture Garden complete with large ice sculptures, additional and larger competitions, and live ice carving demonstrations throughout the Carnival.
  • The Vulcan’s Snow Park at the State Fairgrounds will be open and ready for play for 17 days! Once again, it will be the site of the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition, a giant snow slide, Vulcan Fun Day on Jan. 28, and two Vulcan Polar Plunges for Special Olympics, as well as NEW lawn mower and bar stool ski races!

We sincerely appreciate your understanding of the decisions made and above all your commitment and support of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival – the “Coolest Celebration on Earth!™” We look forward to a great 2018 Carnival in Old Saint Paul!

Thank you for your support!

Jennifer Tamburo
Board Chair
Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Festival

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