Saint Paul Winter Carnival

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I was in Saint Paul, MN for business, and a co-worker informed me of the two week Winter Carnival that would be ending shortly.  This is when residents go crazy and… go outside into the cold night to drink cold drinks, listen to music and to take in the ice sculptures.  To be fair, there are other events, including a film festival and three parades.

I didn’t have the time or timing for all of that, so I made a quick trek through Rice Park in the 15o heat.  Saint Paul is the childhood home of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, and statues are scattered in the area, unphased by the weather (in fact, looking much more charming than when I last saw them adorned with bird droppings).



There’s a temporary ice skating area, and I admit that I was somewhat pleased to see that the natives flounder around the rink as much as southerners.


Rice Park fronts the eyecatching Landmark Center which has a greater architectural presence than a historical one.   At night, it’s a colorful place – at least during the Carnival period.


Closer in, there’s an ice restaurant, ice bar, a BBQ vendor, several other beverage outlets and a souvenir tent. 



On to the ice statues.  Here’s a paddle wheel, I think.  The added lights are great for color, but they give off a hue that along with the limited viewing angle make some objects difficult to decipher. In any case, it’s very intricate and very much 3-D, standing perhaps 3’ high.


Below is a fish horse rather than a seahorse. Some of the other smaller ones were not illuminated and proved difficult to photograph.


The larger ones, though, were easier to make out.  Below is Kylo Ren from the latest Star Wars installment.


If he’s not familiar yet to you, then this one should be.


I had to tinker with the two photos above, taken with a decent Canon, to show them crisply (in fact, more clearly than they appeared in person).  To give the iPhone credit, it took a decent shot (below).


Still, I can’t help myself from post-processing…


There really were a couple of other larger structures that included a person and a fish standing in front of a shell and another that possibly includes a horse and a fish.  Here.  Click on it to make it bigger and you make sense of it.



Meanwhile, good intentions of looking up for different perspectives sometime result in cool pictures. I’ll attribute the motion to ungloved freezing hands.


I’m mindful that I normally take pictures of things rather than people.  Other than landscapes, the human element adds character, emotion, scale and other impacts to a photograph, so I intentionally captured a few shots with people.  Hey, it’s difficult taking a picture of people’s backs!  This couple, I would like to think, enjoyed their evening and were headed to a warm hearth or the modern equivalent thereof.


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