MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Super Bowl LIVE kicked off Friday afternoon on the Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.

“I wanted to be a part of the big party,” said Jackie Knight. “We’re hosting the Super Bowl and it’s like I wanted to be a part of it.”

She was far from alone. By 4 p.m. Friday, Super Bowl LIVE had officially kicked off, and Nicollet Mall was packed with plenty of snow and tons of ice.

Ice sculptor Casey Conner is showing off his works of art, all inspired by the big game. Each of his sculptures weigh about 18,000 pounds, and they took two days to build. With temperatures in the 40s, he was sweating it out — just like his works of art.

“I think today is going to be our only challenging day,” Conner said. “I think we’re going to be moving more toward where we want to be the rest of the week.”

As temperatures dropped, hundreds of people warmed up by taking in some free music at the Verizon Up Stage.

Idina Menzel of “Frozen” fame was one of the main attractions, singing her signature song, “Let It Go.”

“She was a great singer in ‘Frozen,’ so I really like her,” said 7-year-old Solana Chanthraphone.

About the only thing that caught people off guard was parking. It was $65 for a ramp on 6th Street.

Military Humvees helped regulate traffic downtown.

“It’s beautiful. I think this will really, you know, make it fun for the Super Bowl,” said Sinouane Chanthraphone. “We’ll be here a couple nights.”

Visitors have also heaped a lot of praise on Super Bowl volunteers. They all have the same jackets on, and are hard to miss.

Super Bowl LIVE will run until 3 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday.

John Lauritsen