ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — As the East Coast digs its way out of the weekend, Minnesota has barely enough winter to sustain one of the season’s biggest traditions.
The St. Paul Winter Carnival will go on as planned, but organizers are going to plan B.
Temps that are shooting toward the 40s later this week are not a good thing for ice-centric activities.
This year’s carnival could be nearly 50 degrees warmer than the one in 2014. Moreover, ice this year has already been hard to come by.
The hope was to harvest ice from Lake Phalen, according to the president of the event, Rosanne Bump.
“Because of the warm weather, we did not have time, so the ice couldn’t get thick enough, so we ended up using manufactured ice,” Bump said.
This year, the ice castle will be half as big as expected. Still, the artists will prevail.
Terry Reis has been carving at the event for 12 years. Sometimes it’s been too cold to work.
“It was 22 below and I went through four saws, broke four saws because it was so cold that the cords would break,” Reis said.
Despite the possibility of a mid-event melt-down this year, he says the artists and organizers will figure it out.
“Cover [the ice] up during the day, come back at night and cut again,” Reis said.
Carvers say they will fight the melt and believe they can do that and keep the detail in their work.
Another upside to the mild temperatures is that crowds stay at the carnival longer, Bump said.
The St. Paul Winter Carnival starts this week.