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Fresh Flakes Buttress Winter Events

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(credit: CBS) Bill Hudson
Bill Hudson has been with WCCO-TV since 1989. The native of Elk Rive...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While the snow can be frustrating for commuters, it’s putting the fun back into some major wintertime activities.

Folks planning this week’s start to the St. Paul Winter Carnival are doing cartwheels over the turn in the weather. Well, if not actual cartwheels, they’re at least celebrating what the fresh snow does to get everyone in the winter spirit. That spirit was evident Monday at Rice and Wirth parks.

The recent winter weather also has the planners of the Winter Carnival and the City of Lakes Loppet, a cross-country ski festival, excited to enjoy the season’s gifts.

From the seat of a snowmobile, John Munger layed the course Monday for the 10th annual City of Lakes Loppet. The event is dependent on plenty of snow and ice. Without it, the event is impossible.

“Couple of weeks ago, when it got into the 40s and 50s everyday — that’s tough to do a winter event,” he said.

Just in case the snow doesn’t last, piles of man-made snow stand at the ready. But to keep all the Loppet events intact will depend on a couple more days like Monday.

“The Saturday events are all a go,” Munger said. “Sunday will see modifications if we don’t get another few inches of snow.”

Meanwhile in St. Paul’s Rice Park, the Winter Carnival events are set to start Thursday at 3 p.m. Crews put up tents Monday and filled the park with greenery. But it’s the white that adds to the winter mood.

Lack of snow has already forced the cancellation of a sled dog race and the annual snow sculpting competition. But carnival president Beth Pinkney promises everything else is a go.

“The one inch we had we’re thankful for,” she said. “It makes it look pretty, but we need 10 to 12 inches of snow for the other events to happen.”

The sled dog race was slated for White Bear Lake, and the sculpting was set for the fairgrounds.

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