SPFHF Board Member Application


Board of Directors Nomination & Application Process

The Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation (SPFHF) is the proud producer of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival and Cinco De Mayo West Side. The SPFHF annually seeks new candidates to fill vacated Board Positions.  We are looking for candidates who have been supporters of the SPFHF as past and current members, volunteers, community partners, sponsors or past uniform group legend characters.

Attached is a document designed to provide you information regarding Board obligations and Committee assignments.  Board terms generally run for two years. (June-May)

Nomination Process:

If you are interested in becoming a new Board Member please provide a resume highlighting your past and present volunteer experiences, membership with past and current civic and charitable organizations. Your resume should also include a brief statement of your occupational job skills. Along with your resume, include your responses to the following:

  1. I am interested in serving on the SPFHF Board of Directors because…
  2. I believe that my skills and experience in (for example – finance, marketing, membership development, fundraising, etc.) would benefit the Board of Directors because…
  3. If elected to serve on the Board of Directors, I would like to serve on the following two board committees and two event committees and why. (for example – finance, marketing, membership development, fundraising, etc.) – see full list attached.

Please note that submitting information does not guarantee Board placement.  The Nomination and Board Development Committee will review all applicants with respect to the needs of the current Board of Directors.  This includes, but is not limited to, skills needed to carry out Board functions and strategic plans, representation of various groups, and ability to represent different cultures, values, opinions and perspectives.

Submit your information by May 20th to office@spfhf.org or SPFHF, 429 Landmark Center, 75 West 5th Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102. Questions regarding the role, please contact Greg Kuntz, Vice-Chair 651-270-3007 or greg@riverrunteam.com.  Incomplete nomination materials submitted will not be considered.

The Nomination and Board Development Committee will make its nomination recommendations to the current Board of Directors at the next Board meeting and voting will take place at the meeting. Notifications will take place following the next board meeting.

Board Member General Expectation 2021-2022


  • Membership:  Board members are expected to maintain a membership with the SPFHF at a financial level comfortable to them.
  • $200 Annual Board Commitment:  You will receive Winter Carnival buttons ($200 value), to sell during the Winter Carnival.


  • Monthly Board Meetings* – Meetings scheduled the last Wednesday of each month (subject to change) at 5:00 p.m. Depending on agenda, meetings typically end between 6:30-7 p.m. and are held at the Landmark Center, downtown St. Paul
  • Special Board Meetings as called by Board Chair
  • Board Committee Meetings*
  • Year-round events including but not limited to: Winter Carnival, Sip & Savor, Golf Tournament, Cinco de Mayo, Spring & Fall Fundraisers and more.
  • Volunteering and attending key festival events including but not limited to: Ice bars, parades, point of contact at special events, cash management, Button Unveiling Royal Coronation, Volunteer Appreciation events, etc.

*Attendance is expected for all Board meetings and committees you are on.  Any planned absences are to be communicated with the Board Chair. Board members will be contacted, and may be asked to resign, following three missed Board and/or Committee meetings.


  • Two (2) year Board commitment June – May (21-22 & 22-23)
  • At least one Board committee
  • At least one event committee
  • Meetings with sponsors/partners (as appropriate)
  • As a volunteer at events (as needed)

Thank you for doing your part to help us achieve our mission:

To foster a sense of community, pride, belonging and connectedness by celebrating Saint Paul’s unique history and emerging heritage through fun and educational experiences.

Download Application:  Here 


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

Drive Thru FAQ’s – Details for Arrival

Important Last Minute Details

Getting There
The entrance to the event is at the intersection of Canfield St and Como Ave at the MN State Fairgrounds. You’ll be guided to the Ecolab Welcome Lot (aka the Midway parking lot) where your ticket will be scanned for entrance. 

GPS Address: Minnesota State Fair Compeer Arena, 1871 Judson Ave, St Paul, MN 55108.

Event Route
Preview the event route before you arrive so you’re sure to keep your eyes peeled for all the fun sculptures, art features, and more on the drive!

Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of your scheduled time to have your ticket scanned. Should you miss your scheduled departure, you will not be able to attend in another group and may forfeit your event ticket.

You will need to have your ticket ready – either in print or on your phone – when you approach the ticket personnel. They will scan your ticket & direct you to your starting lane by ticket time.

  • Where are my tickets? Your tickets can be found in your confirmation email that was delivered when you purchased your tickets. If you did not receive or lost your confirmation email, you can click here to have this resent to the email that was used in purchasing.
  • Merchandise Pick-up: Any additional items attached to your ticket will be provided for you when you check in at the entrance.
  • Purchasing tickets:  The Drive-Thru is nearly sold out, BUT, here’s a quick look at what limited tickets may still be available at http://ow.ly/xQEE50Do2sx       (list updated as of 2/1)
    • Monday 2/1: 9:30pm
    • Tuesday 2/2: SOLD OUT
    • Wednesday 2/3 & Thursday 2/4: 9pm-9:30pm
    • Friday 2/5: 12pm-3pm
    • Saturday 2/6: SOLD OUT
    • Sunday 2/7: 9am-12:30pm and 2:30-3:30pm 

Swag Bag
You will receive your UCare or Xcel Energy swag bag once you are in your starting lane.

Contests & Activities

Add to the fun during your drive by participating in these additional activities!

Get the App
Access the Winter Carnival web app during your drive to access fun activities, learn about carvers and more!

“I Spy” Drive-Thru BINGOsponsored by Mall of America
What will you ‘spy’ during the Drive-Thru? You’ll receive your BINGO card when you arrive, then keep an eye out for special features throughout the park. When you get BINGO, drop your card at the end of the drive to enter to win prizes!

Securian Financial Trivia
Are you smarter than your 5th grader? It’s time to find out! Trivia questions will be posted throughout the drive and can be answered through the Winter Carnival web app.

Ice Your Votepresented by Soapy Joe’s Car Wash
Using the Winter Carnival web app, vote for your favorite ice & snow sculptures during and after the drive. Preview the event route so you don’t miss any of these incredible sculptures!

Food Trucks
Food trucks will be accessible at the end of the route so you can grab a snack to enjoy before you leave. Otte’s Kettle Corn, a Rice Park favorite, and more local vendors will be selling Footlong hotdogs, Kettle Corn, french fries, Pronto Pups, cheese curds, & more!



How does this work?
You will purchase a ticket for your vehicle at wintercarnival.com for your preferred day and time. Arrival instructions will be sent to you ahead of your event slot to help you prepare for the event. When you arrive at the Ecolab Welcome Lot, event personnel will approach your vehicle to check you in and direct you to your starting location. When your time comes, you will proceed along the event route, following the car in front of you or following the guided path through the sculpture park. You will remain in your vehicle throughout the experience to help ensure a safe event for everyone.

Where are my tickets?

Your tickets are included in your confirmation email and can be downloaded to print and/or scan on your mobile phone at the entrance. If you cannot find your confirmation email you can resend it to the email you originally purchased tickets with by clicking here.

Where is the event located?
The Drive-Thru takes place at the MN State Fairgrounds in Saint Paul, MN. The entrance to the event is located in the Ecolab Welcome Lot (aka the Midway Lot), which you must enter at the intersection of Como Ave and Canfield St. The best GPS location is: Minnesota State Fair Compeer Arena, 1871 Judson Ave, St Paul, MN 55108. 

How many people can be in my vehicle?
There is no restriction on number of people per vehicle; however, passengers must adhere to standard Minnesota traffic laws and seat belts must be available for each passenger. No limos, raised vehicles or sprinter vans are allowed in the drive-thru. Designated passenger buses will be allowed with prior approval from the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

How long does the event take?
We estimate a drive through the entire experience should take roughly 30 minutes. You should also plan to arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of your designated time slot.

Will there be food available?
Yes. There will be a few food vendors serving snack-style foods such as kettle corn, mini donuts, etc at the end of the route. Transactions will take place at the driver’s window and masks are required by both the driver and the server during the transaction.

What does my ticket include?
Your time slot ticket includes access for one vehicle to drive the event route during your designated time slot, and a swag bag for your vehicle. You will have the opportunity to purchase food and merchandise along the event route.

Day vs. Night, what will I see?
The route is the same regardless of what time you choose to attend, however, the magnitude of the displays will differ based on time of day. During the day, you will see all the snow and ice sculptures in daylight. You may also see special features such as fire trucks and hot air balloons. By night, all of the displays and special features will be lighted with colorful lights throughout the drive. This is not a light show, but lights will be used to highlight the features of the event under darkness.

I can no longer make my time slot; can I get a refund?
Refunds are not available for this event and as most days and times of the event are sold out, we can no longer make adjustments to selected ticket timing.  If you are unable to use your ticket, it will be gratefully accepted as a donation to the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.

When or where can I exit the vehicle?
To limit person-to-person contact, the drive-thru experience is intended to be fully enjoyed from the comfort of your vehicle. Restrooms will be available at the beginning and the end of the route, but not throughout, so please plan accordingly. Food vendors and merchandise areas will be drive-up style so you will not need to exit your vehicle to partake in those elements. For more information on safety precautions being taken at the event to prevent spread of COVID-19, view our event Preparedness Plan.

Are pets allowed?
We do not recommend bringing animals with you. As the event is a drive-thru experience, we do not have designated pet relief areas and your pets will not be allowed to exit your vehicle during the drive should they become spooked by any event activities.

Are their restrooms available?
There are two designated areas on the route with portable restrooms, including ADA accessibility: at the entrance in the Ecolab Welcome Lot and at the very end of the route before you exit. We recommend all passengers use the restrooms before arriving at the event to limit contact onsite.

What if there is bad weather?
This event will take place rain, snow or shine. The event route will be properly managed for snow and ice removal on the roads throughout the festivities. However, the Saint Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation reserves the right to cancel any element of the event, and the event in its entirety, due to serious inclement weather. Should the event be canceled due to weather, all ticket holders will be notified via their purchase email regarding alternatives. Tickets are non-refundable and will be accepted as a donation to the Saint Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.

What about the ice sculptures in Rice Park and the Vulcan Snow Park?
In a change from years past, the Winter Carnival Ice Carvings will move from Rice Park to the Fairgrounds to create the Ice and Snow Sculpture Park. The Winter Carnival Vulcans will, once again, manage the snow sculpture attraction and the annual Snow Stomp event that is used to create the huge blocks for artists to sculpt their snowy works of art. There will be no snow slide or snow park as part of this year’s event. All sculptures will be featured in the Drive-Thru event. 

Why is there a charge for tickets when the Winter Carnival used to be free?
New this year, guests can enjoy the Winter Carnival ice and snow sculptures in one location, in a fun and safe way! Throughout this unprecedented year, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival produced by the Saint Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit, was unable to host many of our traditional fundraising activities. So, we either had to cancel the Carnival, or ask fans to support our 135th year of activities by purchasing nominally priced tickets.   For fans who may not be able to afford tickets,  we have developed ways they can participate for free, including volunteer activities and group sponsorship.  Thanks to our dozens of volunteers, board members, sponsors and staff, we are excited announce that our time-honored, heart of the winter event, the 135th annual Winter Carnival will go on for many years to come! 

How can I play Trivia, Bingo, and vote for my favorite sculptures?
The Winter Carnival web app can be used to play along with Securian Financial Trivia and to Ice Your Vote during your Drive-Thru experience!

You will receive a BINGO card when you check-in at the entrance onsite and will be able to check off items throughout the route. You can request additional cards so each member of your vehicle can participate as well. Completed cards should be dropped in the BINGO card dropbox before exiting the event route. 

Can’t find your question here? Contact info@spfhf.org. Our staff and volunteers are currently working onsite at the event so response time may be slower than usual. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Drive-Thru Ice & Snow Sculpture Park


Drive Thru Ice & Snow Sculpture Park

Saint Paul Winter Carnival’s New Drive-Thru Ice & Snow Park
Tickets on Sale – December 29

Saint Paul, Minn. (December 27, 2020) — The Saint Paul Winter Carnival announces that tickets for its newest attraction, the Drive-Thru Ice & Snow Sculpture Park, will go on sale on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 8 a.m. Ticket prices start at $20 per vehicle. Ticket sales benefit the Saint Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation, the 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization that produces “The Coolest Celebration on Earth™.”

Combining two signature Winter Carnival events – the Ice Carving Competition and the Snow Sculpture Contest – this new drive-thru experience will take place each day of the Carnival, January 28 – February 7, 2021, at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Each general admission vehicle pass includes a UCare or Xcel Energy swag bag filled with goodies plus a chance to win prizes through ‘I Spy’ BINGO and the opportunity to buy treats along the way. Through the Winter Carnival app, you’ll be able to participate in Winter Carnival Trivia, presented by Securian Financial. Support your favorite sculpture in the “Ice Your Vote Contest” sponsored by Soapy Joe’s Car Wash.

Buy Tickets

Most days will have a special theme reflected by the contents of the VIP Package goody bags.

  • Friday, Jan. 29 and Friday, Feb. 5 – Northern Soda Days
    • Guests will receive a four-pack of locally made Northern Soda, koozies, and twisty straws!
  • Saturday, Jan. 30 – Crayola Experience Family Day
    • The colorful contents of this goody bag include two passes to Crayola Experience Mall of America, activity packs, two GoGo squeeZ pouches, and other snacks.
  • Sunday, Jan. 31 – National Hot Chocolate Day
    • Bring a thermos of hot water and mix up some fresh hot chocolate for your drive with this goody package. You’ll receive two mugs, hot chocolate mix, and Milkman chocolate milk.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 2 – THE CROODS: A NEW AGE Day
    • To celebrate the release of THE CROODS: A NEW AGE on Blu-ray, goody bags will include a movie snack pack including popcorn and candy, plus cool Croods swag.
  • Thursday, Feb. 4 – Saint Paul Saints Day
    • Commemorate the hometown team’s Triple-A affiliate distinction with two new Saints caps. Along the route, you’ll be entertained by the team’s ushertainers and you may even spot the infamous Mudonna!
  • Saturday, Feb. 6 – Minnesota Twins Day
    • Tip your hat to the AL Central Division Champions with one of the two Twins beanies you’ll receive in this day’s goody bag.
  • Saturday, Feb. 6 – Vulcan Torchlight Night (after 5:30 p.m.)
    • The Vulcan Krewe will fire-up the night with special attractions, firetrucks, and performances.
  • Sunday, Feb. 7 – Minnesota Made Day
    • Enjoy the Sculpture Park while you nosh on locally made treats.

Busses will be welcome on Wednesday, Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. This opportunity was created for group home residents and members of other organizations to be able to get out and enjoy the festivities together. Access is limited and groups must be pre-approved. The application may be found on the Drive-Thru page of the Winter Carnival website (www.wintercarnival.com).

As in years past, the Vulcans will manage the snow sculptures, courtesy of City, County Credit Union and their team of volunteers. On select days, you will also get to meet members of the Vulcan Krewe, the Winter Carnival Royal Family, and the Klondike Kates!

WHAT:           Saint Paul Winter Carnival Drive-Thru Ice & Snow Sculpture Park

WHEN:            January 28 – February 7, 2021
Mondays – Thursdays            4 – 9:30 p.m.
Fridays                                    12 – 10 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays         9 a.m. – 10 p.m.

WHERE:         Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Enter off Como Avenue. Event entrance is on the Ecolab Welcome Lot (Midway)

TICKETS:       Tickets go on sale Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 8 a.m. online at www.wintercarnival.com

General Admission:     $20 per vehicle (plus service fee)  Includes access for one vehicle plus UCare or Xcel Energy swag bag

Vulcan Torchlight Night – Feb. 6:   $35 per vehicle (plus service fee)   Includes access for one vehicle after 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 6, plus one swag bag.

VIP Admission:  $35 per vehicle (plus service fee)  Includes VIP lane access for one vehicle, a Winter Carnival ice scraper, an exclusive theme package, and one UCare or Xcel Energy swag bag filled with goodies.

Bus Admission – Feb. 3:    $50 per vehicle (plus service fee)   10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (must be pre-approved)

INFO:              https://www.wintercarnival.com/faqs-drive-thru/

About the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation and the Saint Paul Winter Carnival

The Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation is a non-profit membership organization that produces Minnesota’s Iciest and Spiciest festivals – Saint Paul Winter Carnival and Cinco de Mayo West Side Saint Paul. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival was started in 1886 and is the oldest winter festival in the United States. It relies on sponsors, fundraisers, donations, charitable gaming, and foundation members to support its year-round activities. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival attracts more than 250,000 visitors a year and has an approximate $3 – $5 million economic impact to the City of Saint Paul and the State of Minnesota. Visit wintercarnival.com for more information and to learn how you can support future Winter Carnival celebrations by becoming a member.  


Drive-Thru Tickets On Sale – Final Release

Northern Soda Winter Carnival Partnership

Northern Soda Company is once again partnering with the Saint Paul Winter Carnival for a Winter Carnival themed soda, 135th Anniversary Limited Edition — Minnesota Birch Beer!


Be the First to Try!

Members of the Royal Family & Vulcans will greet you at a curbside pickup event from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 12th at Northern Soda Company’s Taproom (3747 Dunlap St N, Arden Hills, MN 55112). Place your order prior to Saturday’s event and select the pickup time that works best for you HERE


What is Birch Beer?

Birch Beer is a difficult flavor to describe, truly one you must try for yourself. It is definitely not root beer and it’s not a cream soda, however it is certainly part of the family. The soda features a pre-1900’s recipe mixed with real birch bark oil and the right amount of pure sugar! The flavor originated in the Northeastern region of the United States and Northern Soda perfected it here, just outside of Saint Paul. 


Retail Locations

Can’t make the curbside pickup at Northern Soda on Saturday, December 12? Check out these locations selling the soda after December 14th: 

  • Hyvee Brooklyn park
  • Hyvee Savage
  • Hyvee Eagan
  • Oxendale’s Market, W. St. Paul
  • Widmer’s Market, St. Paul
  • Jordan Meats and Deli, Jordan
  • Waynes Foods, Luck WI
  • Driskills, Hopkins
  • Cooper’s Foods, St. Paul
  • All Kowalski’s Locations
  • All Lunds & Byerly’s Locations
  • All Festival Foods Locations
  • Target Roseville
  • Target Forest Lake
  • Target Richfield
  • Target N St. Paul
  • Target Shoreview
  • Target Fridley
  • Target Rochester North
  • Target Rochester South

Visit Northern Soda’s website for more details! 

2021 Buttons Information & MORE!


The Buttons

The time is finally here! Our 2021 Winter Carnival Buttons have been revealed. The designs featured artwork from iconic Minnesota artist, Adam Turman! Support the largest Winter Carnival fundraiser and buy your button at Cub Foods or our online store, today! An individual button retails for $5 and the value 4-pack (which includes all four designs) retails for $19. 

Check out our virtual unveiling video featuring appearances from Winter Carnival Royalty and announcements about upcoming event plans! 

Did you notice special elements about the individual designs including: 

  • Klondike Kate featured on the red button to celebrate their 5oth Anniversary
  • The State Fair sign to commemorative our new Drive-Through event 
  • Snowmobiling, toboggan racing and skiing to showcase historical carnival events. 

Each souvenir button is attached to a colorful card that features a schedule of this year’s main attractions, activities, and new events. In addition, the button card includes a registration form to fill out for the chance to win exclusive prizes and experiences including the grand prize of $1,000 cash.

Online Auction

Check out the traditional button auction online this year on Saturday, December 5th from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. for your chance to bid on keepsake items such as the large buttons, framed button artwork and more! Online auction link HERE. Get your bids in, NOW!

Commemorative Pin 

The $20 pack with the commemorative pin is back this year and features an adorable penguin! Find the Royal Family or Tax Collector to get yours! 

NEW! Drive-Up Event 

We’re making it easy to get your button(s) this year by offering several drive-up events. Stay tuned for more locations to be added! 

  • Saturday Dec. 5th from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Members & Button Sales Drive-Up at the Landmark Center loading dock (Washington St. across from Travelers). 

Button & Food Pick-Up Events

Support local restaurants and Winter Carnival at the same time! Order ahead at two of our favorites – Bennett’s Chop & Rail House and Rudy’s Red Eye Grill – and purchase your buttons when you pick up your dinner between 4 – 6 p.m. on December 5. You may even see some of our Legendary Characters!


135th Winter Carnival Announcement – Signature Events & New Twists


2021 Saint Paul Winter Carnival Planning Underway

135th Anniversary to Feature Signature Events with a Twist and New Activities

January 28 – February 7 

Event Will Feature A Drive-Thru Ice and Snow Sculpture Park  at Minnesota State Fairgrounds


Saint Paul, Minn. (October 21, 2020) — Organizers from the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, the producers of the Winter Carnival, announce today that planning for the next “Coolest Celebration on Earth™” is well underway. Although, the Carnival will be different than in years past, it is sure to still be legendary.

The 2021 Saint Paul Winter Carnival will be held January 28 – February 7. This will be the festival’s 135th anniversary further fortifying the fact that it is the oldest winter festival in the United States. Changes have been made to accommodate protocols related to COVID-19 while still making it possible for the community to celebrate and embrace winter.

“The Winter Carnival was created in 1886 to show the world how Saint Paul embraces winter,” says Deb Schaber, President and CEO of the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation. “We believe we’ve created a schedule of events for our 135th anniversary that our Carnival creators would be proud of and our current day fans can enjoy safely. The majority of our 2021 events will be held outdoors and all will abide by COVID-19 required protocols such as social distancing and mask wearing.”


Traditions with A Twist

Some of Winter Carnival’s annual events are being revised or removed due to the pandemic. The organization is not able to host the traditional parades or hold events in Rice Park because of crowd size limitations. However, there will still be plenty of opportunities for safe fun for all ages in Saint Paul and beyond. Here are some highlights of the cool happenings that are in the works including new twists on signature events, virtual opportunities, and activities to get people outdoors and exploring our great City of Saint Paul. *

  • Drive-Thru Ice and Snow Sculpture Park at Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Combining two signature Winter Carnival events – the Ice Carving Competition and the Snow Sculpture Contest – this drive-thru experience will take place at the State Fairgrounds each day during the Carnival.

Upon entering, each car will receive a swag bag, bingo card, and the chance to purchase some treats to enjoy during the ride. Dozens of visual stops will showcase snow and ice masterpieces sculpted by local artisans, many of whom have participated in past Winter Carnival contests. Attendees will be able to vote on their favorite creations.  

The Winter Carnival Ice Carvings will move from Rice Park to the Fairgrounds to create the Ice and Snow Sculpture Park. And, once again, the Winter Carnival Vulcans will manage the snow sculpture attraction. As in years past, the Vulcans will coordinate the snow making and the annual Snow Stomp event used to create the huge blocks for artists to sculpt their snowy works of art. The Vulcans, as well as the Royal Family and Klondike Kates, are expected make several appearances at the drive-thru.

  • Winter Carnival Music Series

In tune with the times, the annual Winter Carnival Music Series is going on the road and will be popping up outdoors at parking lots and establishments around Saint Paul. This format will give us an opportunity to support local restaurants, breweries and entertainment venues while continuing the Winter Carnival Music Series. The concert sites will serve the food and drinks and Carnival will bring the entertainment – and our famous Ice Bar.

  • Virtual Winter Carnival Family Days

For both Saturdays during Carnival (January 30 and February 6), families can gather ‘round their computers and smart TVs in the comfort and safety of their homes to participate in our Family Day activities. Each day’s schedule will be filled with entertaining performances, educational seminars, arts and crafts lessons, storytelling sessions, and much more. This content will go live on our website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel and then be available for “re-runs” forever.   

  • Securian Financial Winter Run

Another Carnival tradition and Foundation fundraiser, the Securian Financial Winter Run, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 30 with a 5K around Lake Phalen. Runners can also participate virtually with 5K, 10K and a Half Marathon.

  • Frozen Family Fun Night

Bundle up the kids and join us outside to embrace winter! This all-ages event at Keg and Case will include entertaining performances, visits by snow princesses, a bonfire, and family-friendly activities. The Winter Carnival Junior Royalty Court and other special guests will stop by to join the fun.

  • Winter Carnival Puzzle Competitions – In-Person and Virtual

We’ve pieced together a new way for people to participate in the enormously popular Winter Carnival Puzzle Contest. On Sunday, Jan. 31, a virtual puzzle contest will be conducted via Zoom. Teams will be able to compete against each other remotely and in the comfort of their own homes. The traditional Saint Paul Winter Carnival Puzzle Contest, known as the nation’s largest, will take place in-person and socially-distanced at Landmark Center on the morning of Saturday, January 30. As of today, 180 teams of four have already registered!

  • Softball Tournament

We’re brrrrrrringing back a classic hit from Carnival’s history – the Winter Carnival Softball Tournament. Games will be held outdoors on a snowy St. Paul ballfield (site to be determined) on Saturday, Feb. 6. Registration will begin in January. Sign up and batter up or catch a game on the sidelines.

  • Saint Paul Scavenger Hunt

Winter Carnival fans will be able to take part in three different scavenger hunts: Family Friendly Explore Saint Paul Parks, Saint Paul History & Landmarks, and Local Fun & Attractions. The Winter Carnival Scavenger Hunt will allow folks to have some socially distanced fun while learning about the great City of Saint Paul.


2021 Saint Paul Winter Carnival Buttons

One of Minnesota’s most popular and recognized artists, Adam Turman, is designing the 135th Anniversary Winter Carnival button collection. Turman will take his bold and colorful style to create four buttons that will be unveiled and on sale in early December. The sale of the commemorative buttons is the largest fundraiser for the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation.


Saint Paul Winter Carnival Legend Characters

Traditionally, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival Legend Characters make hundreds of appearances each year representing the City across the state and the country by participating in parades, appearing at charity events, and making visits to senior centers and schools. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 Royal Family, Vulcans, and Klondike Kate did not have the opportunity to practice their parade wave, meet new friends in the community, or travel to other festivals. So, Boreas and his court, Vulcanus Rex and his Krewe, and Kate will all reign for another year. The Klondike Kates are also marking a special anniversary in 2021, their 50th year!


Volunteers Needed

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival relies on hundreds of volunteers in order for the events to be a success. Leading up to and throughout Carnival, there are numerous opportunities to donate your time and talent. Please visit our website (wintercarnival.com/get-involved/volunteer/) or contact volunteer@spfhf.org to join the team.


About the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation and the Saint Paul Winter Carnival

The Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation is a non-profit membership organization that produces Minnesota’s Iciest and Spiciest festivals – Saint Paul Winter Carnival and Cinco de Mayo West Side Saint Paul. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival was started in 1886 and is the oldest winter festival in the United States. It relies on sponsors, fundraisers, donations, charitable gaming, and foundation members to support its year-round activities. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival attracts more than 250,000 visitors a year and has an approximate $3 – $5 million economic impact to the City of Saint Paul and the State of Minnesota. Visit wintercarnival.com for more information and to learn how you can support future Winter Carnival celebrations by becoming a member.  


Social Media Channels

Facebook – /stpaulwinter

Twitter – @StPaulWinter

Instagram – @stpaulwintercarnival

Hashtag – #wintercarnival


*Event details subject to change.

Media Contact:     Molly Mulvehill Steinke, Nemer Fieger, molly@nemerfieger.com, 612-309-1677

Volunteer at the 2021 Winter Carnival!

Each year we need hundreds of volunteers to help make our events successful, this year is no different! Consider giving back to the upcoming Winter Carnival during our special anniversary and donating your time. We have created a short survey for you to tell us your interests and availability. 

Drive-Thru Support: Sign Up Here!

Volunteer Opportunities May Include: 

  • Indoor Office Support
  • Outdoor Winter Carnival Set-Up
  • Indoor/Outdoor Event Day-Of Assistance
  • Digital/Virtual/Video Opportunities
  • Winter Carnival Day-Of Ambassadors

Thank you again for your commitment to making this event a huge success. We look forward to bringing you into the 2021 Carnival team!!

Winter Carnival Face Masks for Sale

You need to add one of these Winter Carnival face masks to your collection! Available in 6 different colors and prints (red, blue, white, plaid, gray-snowflake and silver-snowflake) these Winter Carnival face masks feature multiple layers of protection and ear adjusters. They’ll easily become one of your favorite masks. Available for purchase in our online store





Gray – Snowflake:

Silver – Snowflake:

2021 Puzzle Contest – New Virtual Event Added

Puzzle Contest Registration is Open!

Avid puzzlers, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! Registration for the Nation’s Largest Jigsaw Puzzle Competition will open at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 1st, 2020! New this year, we are expanding the number of in-person divisions and featuring a virtual division on Sunday. The event will be COVID-19 friendly, as we’re taking many precautions to keep you safe. This event typically sells quickly, last year it sold out within 3 hours!

In-Person Event:

Our in-person puzzle contest will take place on Saturday, January 30th, 2021, at the Landmark Center in Downtown Saint Paul. The contest will feature four divisions: Expert/Adult, Adult 1, Adult 2 and Family. Teams are made up of four individuals, and the cost to participate per team is $60. If interested, sign up early! Spots are reduced per division this year to accommodate social distancing guidelines.

Virtual Event: Brand new this year! 
To allow those who are far away to enjoy the contest too, we will be holding a virtual puzzle contest on Sunday, January 31st, 2021 via Zoom. Teams of four will enjoy competing remotely against each other from the comfort of their own home! Anyone in the U.S.  can participate for $65, price includes shipping.

Schedule of Events:

Saturday, January 30, 2021 – The Landmark Center 

  • 8:00 AM – Expert/Adult 
  • 10:00 AM –  Adult 1
  • 12:30 PM –  Adult 2 
  • 3:00 PM –  Family 

Sunday, January 31, 2021 – Virtually 

  • 11:00 AM – Virtual 

Expansive Online Auction

Start your holiday shopping early during our expansive online auction that will be live October 5th – 8 p.m. October 8th. You won’t want to miss our fabulous items including once-in-a-lifetime experiences with Winter Carnival royalty, numerous gift cards to local business and restaurants and SO MUCH MORE!  Treat yourself to some amazing items all while giving back to the upcoming 135th Winter Carnival. Open to the public, no tickets required, share with your friends, family and co-workers. 

Check out some of our featured items: 

  • Saint For A Day – Go behind the scenes and truly be a St. Paul Saint for the day! Courtesy of the St. Paul Saints Baseball Team, enjoy 4 Securian Financial Club Tickets with food and beverage included, batting practice prior to the game and a tour of CHS Field.
  • An Evening With The Chef – You and nine guests will enjoy a gourmet dinner prepared by our amazing culinary team at the Saint Paul RiverCentre in the prestigious RiverCentre Boardroom. The Boardroom provides a beautiful and intimate setting, lined with large glass windows and picturesque views of Rice Park and historic Downtown Saint Paul. This special event will feature a social hour with butler passed hors d’oeuvres and a four course meal with specially selected wine pairings with each course. You and your guests will leave with the memories of an unforgettable evening!
  • Treats From The East Wind Princess – Enjoy 4 dozen of assorted cookies from the kitchen of the 2020 East Wind Princess, Aly Vogel. Able to choose up to 4 kinds.
  • Paint & Sip With The South Winds – Come spend an evening with your 2020 SW Prince and Princess while we drink and paint canvases with a guided tutorial!
  • One Week Stay in Fountain Hills, AZ – Perfect for a staff retreat or a family vacation: close to golf, tennis, horseback riding, hot air balloons and so much more…The contemporary home includes a separate Guest Casita complete with bath, spa & fireplace, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a gourmet kitchen, formal & informal dining areas, 2 fireplaces, a wet bar, an exercise room, and a small office. The exterior features a shade gallery under which you’ll enjoy a casual dining area, a conversation setting with fire pit and a luxurious spa flowing into a private negative edge pool with uninhibited views of the Four Peaks.

These items and SO MANY MORE to bid on! 

New! Sip & Savor Virtual Event!


Winter Carnival’s BIGGEST fundraiser of the year is going virtual! Join us for 2 nights of special virtual events. 


Since 1886, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival has taken great pride in celebrating Saint Paul’s unique history and the traditions that connect our community. In 2021, we will celebrate our 135th Anniversary, and we remain committed to creating meaningful experiences, providing educational opportunities, and celebrating our heritage at little to no cost for all. We need your help as we move forward into this special anniversary. The 135th Winter Carnival will not happen without the support of our biggest fundraiser, Sip & Savor. Join us October 5 – 8th as we have some fun, while supporting an amazing cause!
Sip: Wednesday, October 7th
Let’s celebrate Wine Wednesday! We’ll see you online Wednesday, October 7th from 6 – 7:30 p.m. for a virtual wine tasting event supporting the upcoming Saint Paul Winter Carnival. Get ready to dive into the world of wine from the comfort of your own home with a three-bottle bundle curated by the Pairs Well With… team. For the ticket cost of $20, we’ll sip, swirl, socialize and share all kinds of knowledge on these beautiful bottles during the event, as well as talk about food and wine pairings with suggested nibbles and recipes. You’ll even have the opportunity to ask questions. You’ll gain a wine experience like none other and your support will be used to help create our legendary carnival events like glistening ice carvings, yearly competitions and family education days. Ticket price does not include cost of sampled wines. Wines must be purchased separately, and details about where to buy selected wines will be sent to attendees beforehand. Estimated wine cost is $60.

Savor: Thursday, October 8th
Spending a little more time at home and want to learn how to make a new cocktail? Is your bar at home stocked with the basics and ready to go? Ever wonder what else you can do with the bottle of Gin leftover from the holiday party? For the ticket price of $20, you’ll join our hosts Justin Spano and Greta Grosch as they talk cocktails. What basics should you have stocked and some crafty cocktails you can make at home that will amaze your friends. They’ll be live from the St. Paul Grill to show you how to make 3 different cocktails on Thursday, October 8th from 6 – 7:30 p.m. This virtual experience combines fun with giving back to one of your favorite Saint Paul events, The Saint Paul Winter Carnival. By participating in this event, you’re ensuring a successful upcoming carnival where we will celebrate cherished traditions, share historical memories and give back to our community. Ticket price does not include cost of supplies and sampling, please purchase supplies separately. Details about supplies will be sent out to attendees prior.