Rice Park

Saint Paul’s beautiful and historic Rice Park acts as center stage for the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. Check out the variety of events and activities to be hosted in Rice Park this year.  These are all free and open to the public unless indicated otherwise.

Mini-Ice Palace

This year 1,300 blocks of ice harvested from Lake Phalen will be transformed into nine distinct towers dubbed the Towers of Boreas. The towers are scattered throughout Rice Park for your viewing pleasure. Don’t miss your chance to take a photo on the Throne of Boreas!

Ice Carving Displays

One of Winter Carnival’s signature events, the ever-sparkly ice displays, are free and open to the public and are on display all 10 days of carnival in Rice Park during regular park hours.  The beautiful masterpieces are created by area artists using an array of tools including knives, chainsaws and other tools.  See the artists at work (and competing for prizes and bragging rights) the first Thursday through Sunday of Carnival.

The displays are lit at night and are a great time to be downtown Saint Paul to take in other activities.   Endless photo opportunities are available during the competition as well as with the completed creations.  The creations are removed when Saint Paul Winter Carnival ends – so be sure to stop by the see them!  Want to be a contestant in our Ice Carving Contest?  See below for more information.

Pabst Winter Carnival Music Series in Rice Park

Enjoy live music performed on the Treasure Island Stage.  Also, enjoy a red or white wine (and NEW mulled wine) from our Partners at Cannon River or Summit Beer.  For a complete listing of times and artists please Click Here

Headliners featured include:

January 26, 2017: My Famous Friends 
January 27, 2017: Charlie Parr & Poppa Bear Norton
January 28, 2017: TrainWreck Duet
January 29, 2017: McNasty Brass Band
January 31, 2017: Koo Koo Kanga Roo
February 1, 2017: Mariachi Jalisco & West Side Band 
February 2, 2017: White Iron Band
February 3, 2017: Trailer TrashMaiden Dixie 
February 4, 2017: Dirty Shorts Brass Band & Chase and Ovation, Prince Tribute Band

Frozen Family Fun Night

Bring the kid’s to Rice Park on Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 for Frozen Family Fun Night! Be sure and grab a bite to eat from one of our visiting food trucks, explore the ice carvings, dance and sing along with Koo Koo Kanga Roo, and ice skate at the Wells Fargo WinterSkate. There will also be a special appearance from the newly crowned St. Paul Winter Carnival Royalty and the Saint Paul Mounted Police! Don’t forget share your photo’s and include #wintercarnival.

From Ice to Spice Cinco Night hosted by Boca Chica Restaurant y Cantina and El Burrito Mercado

Minnesota’s Iceist celebration (Saint Paul Winter Carnival!) meets Minnesota’s Spiciest celebration (Cinco de Mayo West Side Saint Paul) on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 as Cinco de Mayo takes over Rice Park. Come enjoy live entertainment, your favorite foods from Saint Paul’s West Side AND a jalapeno eating contest!

“Not Your Father’s” Happy Hour

Get a head start on the weekend, grab some friends and join us in Rice Park for happy hour. Enjoy a Not Your Father’s Root Beer, beer, or glass of wine. Saint Paul’s own Black Market BBQ will be serving up Not Your Father’s Root Beer glazed ribs. Plus, hang-out with the MN Roller Girls from 5:30-6:30 pm and enjoy live music from White Iron Band from 6-7:30 pm.


All three Winter Carnival parades — the Moon Glow Pedestrian, Grand Day and Torchlight — all end in Rice Park. Plus, the post Torchlight Parade Overthrow of Boreas pageantry will take place across the street on the steps of the James J. Hill Library.

Ice Bar

The Ice Bar will return to refresh Carnival goers. See schedule below for Ice Bar hours. Try a glass of wine from Cannon River Winery, Vulcan’s Revenge Red or Boreas White Reserve blended exclusively for the Winter Carnival and NEW this year HOT spiced mulled…Yum! Try a Winter Ale, Saga or EPA from Summit, our Exclusive Craft Beer of the 2017 Saint Paul Winter Carnival. Also available to wet your whistle Pabst, Not Your Father’s Root Beer, Old Style & more!

Ice Carving Competition Details

Participate in the carving contest for great prizes! Both team and individual competitions are guided by a strict set of rules, requiring artists to utilize their best creative thinking. Additionally, competitor’s sculptures must be consistent with a sketch that was proposed and selected by the Selection Committee.

Multi-Block Competition: 

Each team will be given 20 blocks of ice sized approximately 40” x 20” x 10”. Finished carvings must be no more than 12’ above the ground and no wider than 12’ by 10’. This year’s competition will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 26, 2017 and will end at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2017.   Judging will take place immediately following completion of the contest.

Individual Block Competition: Sunday, January 29, 2017

Each competitor (Professional and Artisan) will receive 1 ½ – 2, 10” x 20” x 40” blocks of ice to turn into their own dazzling display of skilled artistry. As a timed challenge, sculptors will begin no earlier than 9 a.m. and will be stopped promptly at 3 p.m. for judging.

Click here for Ice Carving Rules and signup information.


See below for times that the ice palace, music and the ice bar are open.  Visit our calendar for additional details on these events.

January 26, 2017 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
January 27, 2017 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
January 28, 2017 12 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
January 29, 2017 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
January 30, 2017  No programming
January 31, 2017 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
February 1, 2017 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
February 2, 2017 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
February 3, 2017 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
February 4, 2017 12 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
February 5, 2017  No programming
January 26, 2017 Ice Bar Open: 5  – 8 p.m.
January 27, 2017 Ice Bar Open: 5  – 9:30 p.m.
January 28, 2017 Ice Bar Open: Noon – 10:00 p.m.
January 29, 2017 Ice Bar Open: Noon – 3:30 p.m.
January 30, 2017 Ice Bar Closed
January 31, 2017 Ice Bar Closed
February 1, 2017 Ice Bar Open: 5 – 8:00 p.m.
February 2, 2017 Ice Bar Open: 5 – 8:00 p.m.
February 3, 2017 Ice Bar Open: 5 – 10:00 p.m.
February 4, 2017 Ice Bar Open: Noon – 10:00 p.m.
February 5, 2017 Ice Bar Closed

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