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One Woman Captures History Of St. Paul Winter Carnival

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(credit: CBS) Natalie Nyhus
Natalie Nyhus joined the WCCO-TV team in January of 2011. She repor...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Winter Carnival is a 128-year-old St. Paul tradition. From the royalty to the castles, it’s the “Coolest Celebration on Earth” that holds a lot of history.

Every year one woman displays her private collection that spans decades. It shows the rich history of this St. Paul tradition. Marlyn DiMartino said she loves the Winter Carnival. So much so, that she shares her expansive private collection of memorabilia with the public during the carnival every year.

She said she keeps it wherever it can fit in her house. It’s a lot like a yearbook, showing the changing faces and fashion of the Winter Carnival’s 128 years. So why is it important?

“Because it’s history. People love to come and see it,” DiMartino said. “As they grew up, almost everyone went to the Winter Carnival. Years ago there wasn’t as much to do, so everyone went to all of the events.”

Keeping track of every button, sash and sword takes some work. DiMartino has her collection down to a science. Her book details every king, queen, every wind from the beginning until now.

Some things are worth more than the memory, while others are priceless.

Setting up and the exhibit that’s on display takes weeks, but Marilyn keeps sharing her collection with carnival goers.

“I do it because people love it. Like my husband said, why have this if we don’t show it?,” DiMartino said.

Marilyn DiMartino’s memorabilia is on display throughout the St. Paul Winter Carnival at the North Gallery inside Landmark Center.

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