Last night was my sister’s 49th birthday party out at one of her favorite bar/restaurants. It was so much fun to be with my brothers, my sister, my sister-in-laws and my parents that I stayed far longer than I anticipated. Doug was kind enough to bring Cooper home for bedtime so I could stay and socialize. It was a blast, Dawn….Happy Birthday and thanks for inviting me to your fantastic party!
At the party, my Mom asked if Cooper, Doug and I would be interested in hitting the St. Paul Winter Carnival this morning to check out the ice carvings. To start from the beginning, for as long as is humanly possible to remember, the city of St. Paul has celebrated a winter carnival in the coldest month of the winter here in MN. The whole thing brings about 350,000 visitors to the downtown area of St. Paul and generates up to 5 million dollars worth of revenue for the city. There is this lengthy legend to the carnival which has to do with (and this is a very general recap), King Boreas, the King of winter, ordering a celebration of winter for ten days, and a guy named Vulcanus Rex, the god of fire, who attempts to end the winter carnival by bringing on warmer weather and the summer season. So, the St. Paul winter carnival includes a daytime parade, and a week later, a nighttime “torchlight parade” brought on by Vulcanus Rex. There are many Vulcans who run through the streets of St. Paul with fire torches and (they used to kiss parade goers, but are no longer allowed to do so) so they smear soot on your face to bring you over to their side, and welcome summer months. FYI – you don’t need to smear soot on this girl’s face to force her to welcome summer months….kay?
Anyway…to get back to our Sunday. Part of the celebration includes various folks getting huge ice cubes delivered to the center of downtown St. Paul, where they laboriously carve them into the most intricate, beautiful sculptures you’ve ever seen. This year’s sculptures included Dumbo and Mickey Mouse, a mother holding a babe above her head, some ice skaters/dancers in mid twirl, some eagles in flight and many, many more. It was fun…and very crowded, because this was also the first weekend above about minus twenty degrees that we’ve seen in weeks.
Cooper was just excited to be there with his Grammie & Papa, and his cousins. He had a blast for the first part of the day, but then grew weary and cold…like the rest of us.
Here are some fun pics from the morning….
It was a fantastic Sunday morning, but I must admit…I’m happy to be back to the warmth of my home. Now where are my fuzzy slippers!?