We are in the midst of the coolest celebration on earth – the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. One of my favorite events to attend is the snow sculptures. Teams work for hours taking a huge block of compacted snow and cutting and carving and sculpting it into a work of art. In years past I’ve only seen the sculptures after they were completed, but this year I decided to take in the actual carving. I found some teams with elaborate hand drawn sketches and plans for their sculpture, and other teams that had small dolls or toys that they were using for their design. The tools, measurements, and time that go into these works of art is amazing. The temperatures have been warmer than usual which created some challenges for the sculpting but the end results are always amazing.
While there’s been much excitement and numerous events throughout the Twin Cities with the Super Bowl game in town, many of our usual winter activities continue as they do in other years. One of them, the St. Paul Winter Carnival, is in full swing. Our weather has been wintry so the carnival’s timing is perfect for ice palaces and snow sculptures. I wandered through the Vulcan Park snow sculptures at the State Fairground the other night. It was cold and light flurries were starting to fall. The sculptures were lit with changing colors and there were children and adults enjoying the evening. This wonderful sculpture entitled “Eggloo” caught my eye with the broken egg shell and the young chick being sheltered under the wing. On the other side of the park was a giant snow slide and I could hear the squeals and shrieks as people climbed on their sleds and flew down the slide. All a part of winter enjoyment!
This week was the beginning the St. Paul Winter Carnival, a true celebration of all things having to do with winter. And this year the weather has cooperated in fine fashion (some might even say it’s been a bit too cold). In past years some of the events have had to be cancelled or shortened because of warming temperatures, but that isn’t an issue for us now. The snow sculptures were being carved yesterday as I wandered around the Minnesota Fairgrounds. This huge sculpture was especially popular for photographs, with the St. Paul Winter Carnival emblem in the center, surrounded by all sorts of cold-weather creatures and beasts. There were even some “tools of the trade” – chests of saws and chisels – that were still being used for touch up. The celebration continues through next weekend (although I truly believe winter will be lasting much longer than that!).