ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The “coolest celebration on earth” is taking shape — construction on the main attraction has begun.

This will be the first Saint Paul Winter Carnival Ice Palace since 2004. The ice palace is expected to be about 70-feet tall and will feature six towers. It’ll take approximately 5,500 ice blocks to build it.

It was just last week when crews harvested the ice from Green Lake near New London and Spicer. Each block weighs about 500 pounds.

“This is about Minnesota, St. Paul proud,” ice palace chairperson Dan Stoltz said. “This is just a phenomenal day that we’ve been talking about for so long.”

Since 1886, the Winter Carnival built 36 ice palaces. On the first year, the palace was illuminated with electric lights, making it one of the first buildings in St. Paul to have electric lighting.

The palace will be ready in time for the kick off of the celebration on Jan 25, it runs through Feb 10. It’s free to Free to visit, and if you want to help build the palace. Blocks are for sale, it’ll cost you $25.

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