MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thursday weather was jarring, even for those of us who are used to it, and hundreds if not thousands of people sought relief at the Mall of America.

Forty million people visit the Mall of America each year, a destination that always 72 degrees and sunny.

“It’s a little toasty in here,” shopper Rese Wingo, from St. Paul, said.

Wingo is one of the native Minnesotans who knows how to burn time on an ice cold day. Meanwhile, Muntaas Abdi sipped her Icee drink as she walked around with her dad, Rashid Ali, who said he is embracing the weather.

“Why, I don’t have to complain,” he said.

As many a Minnesotan says, it’s all about preparation.

“You have to wear your boots to work and bring your work shoes, have a sweatshirt, a winter coat, a scarf, mittens and a hat, and a blanket in your car,” Megan Tambornino, of Eagan, said.

These are lessons two anglers from Charlotte, North Carolina soon learned.

“We’re going ice fishing for the first time,” Brian Garcia said.

After the Mall of America, the anglers are heading to Alexandria for a weekend of firsts. Garcia’s fishing partner, David Kennedy, said he’d felt similar temperatures once before.

“Snow skiing in West Virginia we got down to zero but that’s the coldest I’ve been,” Garcia said.

He said he’ll get used to it and they are quickly realizing there is beauty in the beast that’s called winter.

“Honestly it’s not that bad,” Garcia said.

Of all the people who descended on the Mall of America Thursday, there was one place WCCO couldn’t find anyone: the outdoor skating rink. Go figure.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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