An Ode To Winter Carnival Scavenger Hunts 2021

This year was the first time the Saint Paul Winter Carnival offered 3 scavenger hunts.  Each hunt had a series of riddles/noodles: 10 you typed in your answers; 10 you uploaded a photo/selfie to prove; and 10 were GPS check ins. It was So. Much. Fun!!

The clues were so cleverly written; anyone should be able to solve with a little bit or a lot of sleuthing; mostly done from the safety of your home using your phone or computer.  Most everything was outside, and it took you from the North, South, East and West of St. Paul and all in between.  The 3 hunts had a little bit for everyone

  • Shop, Dine and Play
  • St. Paul, Past, Present
  • St Paul PARK-emon Go – when I signed up, I was thinking that this was a capture a Pokemon in a St Paul park – I was sooo wrong..

I signed up for them all. 3 games, 30 missions each totaling 90. I finished 86. (2 hunts completely). I wasn’t always right, more often wrong. And had the luck of the Irish finding many by happen-stance or chance.

I learned so much about St Paul. I learned: 

  • Honey is made on top of the Depot
  • Bandana Square has a water tower – “Coal Energy”
  • St. Paul has a Sculpture Garden, Chinese Pavilion, and an Arboretum, who knew?!? 
  • Mansions are not just on Summit
  • Much about many of the parks, which I hope will help me on the next medallion hunt
  • All about the Hamm bear, history and brewery and even had to take a pic by their brick wall
  • Where the best dives, best shopping, best food, best bars and best desserts (beignets) in St. Paul. I can’t wait to go back and explore them once everything returns to normal.

Most Memorable Moments

  • Off Campus – Finding ol’Ness where X marks the spot
  • Explaining to a cop that really, the Governors mansion is on the scavenger hunt 
  • Finding a place where I can play Jurassic Park, arguably the best pinball game ever made
  • Taking a picture with a hot guy for “Cheese and Rice”
  • Sharing my quests with my Shipt customers only to find that one had worked at the Ramsey mansion years ago 
  • Happening across a clue when I wasn’t looking for it at the time
  • Invited to interview with a college student doing an article on the Scavenger Hunts where I got to meet another team and the cluemaster himself and got to swap stories of the most challenging.   How ironic to have a team from the Royal Court and one on the Vulcan side (my team was called Hail the Vulc).   We both said we would miss it and hope that the tradition continues.

For those that may have missed it, here is a riddle for you:  

Put On an Apron

There are three points on the compass
Where bricks have all been laid square
Need not howl or make a rumpus
The columns will show when you’re there….

While I didn’t win anything, it was So.Much.Fun!!

Special Thanks to the Winter Carnival and Shout Out to the cluemaster who I thought was brilliant; always responsive even when I had GPS challenges at odd hours of the night, or just needed an extra hint.  


Submitted by Kjerste Villars