Saint Paul Winter Carnival



In 1885 a New York reporter wrote that Saint Paul was "another Siberia, unfit for human habitation" in winter. Offended by this attack on their Capital City, the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce decided to not only prove that Saint Paul was habitable but that its citizens were very much alive during winter, the most dominant season. Thus was born the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

In 1886 King Boreas the first was crowned and the first Winter Carnival commenced. This festival also featured an ice castle, an elaborate creation made from the ice of Minnesota lakes, which has evolved into an internationally recognized icon for Saint Paul's festival.

The event featured many activities like bobsledding and ice horse racing. The former name uniquely and directly describes the activity as frozen lakes were used as race surfaces for sled-carts. The events also served to bring the community closer together including members of nearby Native American tribes. Many members of local tribes would ride into the city and pitch tents to participate in the Winter Carnival.

The Winter Carnival has grown over the years and the legend has evolved to place it in the role of a strong community organization. The Royal Family makes over 400 appearances in a given year and participates in many activities to benefit the communities around the Twin Cities Metro Area. As a community organization, the members of the Royal Family and Vulcan Krewe travel internationally throughout the US and Canada visiting different communities and engaging in various festivals. They promote community awareness and volunteerism and support many causes.

The kid fest Winter Carnival is held during January each year. The only years it was not held were during World War II out of respect for the conflict abroad. Currently the Winter Carnival runs the following events as part of the celebration:

* Royal Coronation
* Grand Day Parade
* Torchlight Parade
* Campbell's Kids Day
* Ice Sculpture Carving
* Klondike Kate Caberets
* Pow Wow
* Historic Art Exhibit

The Royal Family is selected through each characters fraternal organization, and in the case of the Queen and Princesses, a pageant-style coronation. The Royal Family consists of:

* King Boreas
* Prime Minister
* Aurora, Queen of the Snows
* Captain of the King's Guard
* Sergeant of the King's Guard
* Titan, Prince of the North Wind
* North Wind Princess
* Euros, Prince of the East Wind
* East Wind Princess
* Zephyrus, Prince of the West Wind
* West Wind Princess
* Notos, Prince of the South Wind
* South Wind Princess
* A minimum of 4 King's Guards; one each assigned to guard the 4 princesses.

The Vulcan Krewe is selected by the Fraternal Order of Fire and Brimstone along with the new King Vulcanus Rex. The Vulcan Krewe consists of:

* Vulcanus Rex
* General Flameous
* The Duke of Klinker
* Count Ashes
* Prince of Soot
* Baron Hot Sparkus
* Count Embrious
* Grand Duke Fertilius

This legend is the theme that surrounds the history of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival: (from the Winter Carnival website)

A long, long time ago, Astraious, the god of Starlight, and Eos, the goddess of the Rosy Fingered Morn, were wed. The union was blessed with five sons: Boreas, Titan, Euros, Zephyrus and Notos. As the eldest, Boreas was granted the title "King of the Winds" and he assigned to each brother a permanent grant of great force and power. To Titan was assigned the blustery North Wind. To Euros was granted control of the irresponsible East Wind. To Zephyrus was given custody of the bountiful West Wind. To Notos was presented the balmy South Wind. The brothers cavorted gaily over land and sea.

Boreas, while on his extensive travels, came upon a winter paradise known as Minnesota. He paused to behold the enchanting beauty of a magnificent group of seven gently sloping hills in whose embrace nestled a beautiful city. Boreas whistled in sheer ecstasy, "Historic Saint Paul and her seven hills! An ideal place. I will make Saint Paul the capitol of all my domains. It will henceforth be emblazoned to the world as the winter playground of the Realm of Boreas."

Meanwhile, Vulcanus Rex, the god of Fire, and the implacable enemy of Boreas, crackled in defiant disdain. "By the great sword of Mars I will temper the blusterings of Boreas with the heat and roar of my forces." He was tireless in his bitter resistance to all the festivities of Boreas.

Undaunted, Boreas proclaimed a celebration in the spirit of gay Carnival. "So be it!" shouted Boreas, "There will be a Carnival in old Saint Paul!" Boreas selected a Prime Minister to coordinate preparations in all the Principalities, Provinces and Royal Houses within the realm of Saint Paul. And so, for ten glorious days, there was Carnival and joyous celebration in St. Paul -- feasting, dancing, fun and frolic reigned over by Boreas and the Queen of Snows, the fairest maiden of the realm, along with the four Winds, who were each accompanied by a lovely Princess from the realm of Boreas.

Klondike Kate, a lady of song and merriment, added her sassy but enchanting voice to the festivities by singing songs of desire and sentiment.

Senior King Winter, Queen of the Northlands, and their court contributed good will and wisdom, while Junior King Frost and Queen of the Snowflakes with their court, add youthful exuberance to the festival.

On the 10th day of celebration, Vulcanus Rex and his Krewe stormed the magnificent ice castle and confronted the King's Guard. Upon the good counsel of the Queen, Boreas bade farewell to the people of his winter capitol in the interest of peace and goodwill, and returned to dwell among the gods of Olympus. Boreas and his court looked forward to the time when summer's warmth would once again relinquish its hold on the realm and the frosty atmosphere of winter would prevail.

Starting in 1952, each year during the carnival, there is an annual Treasure Hunt. The Saint Paul Pioneer Press prints in their newspaper 12 clues on 12 consecutive days. These clues point to a local park, where participants race to the park they think the clues point them towards, and start searching for the medallion. The clues are often cryptic until the 12th day, when people line up outside the newspaper offices, cell phones in hand and partners in parks, when the 12th clue gives them almost the exact location. The medallion has previously been hidden in a diaper, a soda can, and frozen in ice. The finders of the medallion are awarded up to $10,000.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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