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The St. Paul Winter Carnival announced on Wednesday changes in the annual celebration to help carnival-goers stay healthy amid the coronavirus pandemic while still embracing all things winter.

Shelved for the next “Coolest Celebration on Earth” are the traditional parades and events downtown and in Rice Park in order to abide by state-required limits on crowd sizes.

However, organizers have made several adjustments to numerous attractions during the carnival’s 135th run, Jan. 28 through Feb. 7.

“We believe we’ve created a schedule of events … that our carnival creators would be proud of and our current day fans can enjoy safely,” read a statement from Deb Schaber, president and CEO of the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, the carnival’s organizer. “The majority of our 2021 events will be held outdoors and all will abide by COVID-19 required protocols such as social distancing and mask wearing.”

Among the attractions this time around:

• A drive-through ice and snow sculpture park at the State Fairgrounds. Attendees will be able to vote on their favorite creations.

• The Winter Carnival Music Series will pop up outdoors at parking lots and establishments around St. Paul. Food and drinks will be available. The carnival’s Ice Bar will be featured.

• 5K run around Lake Phalen on Jan. 30.

• Frozen Family Fun Night at Keg and Case Market will include entertainment, appearances by snow princesses, a bonfire and family-friendly activities.

• Softball tournament games will be held Feb. 6 on a ball field yet to be determined.

• Three scavenger hunts.

Winter Carnival buttons will be available for purchase starting in early December.

The carnival’s ambassadors from last winter were forced by the pandemic to skip many appearances throughout the year at schools, senior centers and charity events. This means the 2020 Royal Family, Vulcans and Klondike Kate will all reign for another year.

For the latest information about the carnival, visit

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482