By Reg Chapman

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – The City of Minneapolis is busy its preparations for Super Bowl LII, but it’s important to remember all that’s happening on the other side of the Mississippi River.

The “Coolest Celebration on Earth” is kicking off. The St. Paul Winter Carnival is back for its 132nd year. It’s all starting Thursday night with the Moon Glow Parade in Rice Park.

This is the start of 17 days to celebrate winter in Minnesota. Many of the events scheduled during the Winter Carnival are in concert with what’s going on across the river in Minneapolis, events ahead of Super Bowl LII.

Thursday night marks the first of three parades in the capital city. There is nothing more Minnesotan than a trip to St. Paul for the Winter Carnival.

One of the highlights of the trip to the Capital City and an authentic Bold North experience is a visit to the Winter Carnival Ice Palace. The 70-foot structure is in the heart of Rice Park, an area many come to enjoy all winter has to offer.

“It’s wonderful, it’s a nice way to spend lunch hour. It’s wonderful outside,” Liz Vanderbeek said.

Liz Vanderbeek and her co-workers got a little cardio rounding the skating oval outside Landmark Park. The Wells Fargo Winter skate has become a must-do for families out enjoying the Winter Carnival, and it’s free.

“Lots to do in St. Paul,” she said.

Liz is right. Down the road from Winter Skate, CHS Field is hosting the big snow slide. This attraction offers hours of fun for families as well.

“I want to take my kids out here skating, probably see the Ice Castle at some point,” Erin Wacker said.

Don’t forget, the Dave Matthews Band at Xcel Energy Center and the Taste of the NFL at St. Paul’s River Center, both scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 3. It’s giving football fans another reason to cross the river.

Then there’s the King Boreas Parade and the Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade. We all know how fun hanging with the Vulcans can be. Ice sculptures and the hard to find Winter Carnival medallion round out activities no Minnesotan or visitor should miss.

“There is a lot to take advantage of, just come on down,” Wacker said.

What this event and all the events connected to the Winter Carnival screams is don’t forget St. Paul when planning your Winter Carnival and Super Bowl fun.

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