"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

January 30, 2011

Ice Sculptures and the Grand Day Parade at the St. Paul Winter Carnival 2011

Every year since 1886, St. Paul has held a winter carnival. There's a bunch of various events including parades, a treasure hunt, and sporting and gaming events. On Saturday afternoon, I went to the King Boreas Grand Day Parade. If you're wondering why in the world the "King Boreas" is there, it's because there's actually a storyline behind the whole carnival. A short version of the story is this:

King Boreas was travelling the world with his brothers. When they came across the city of St. Paul, they were awestruck by its beauty and decided to make the city their winter home. They announced that a celebration should be held. When Vulcanus Rex, the god of fire and Boreas' enemy, heard of the plans, he decided to ruin the celebration. For ten days, the carnival went on unhindered. But, on the tenth day, the Vulcan Krewe stormed the ice palace and confronted the King's Guard. To ensure peace, King Boreas surrendered and returned to Olympus, always waiting to return to St. Paul in the winter.

A longer (and much better) version of the legend can be found at the Winter Carnival's website (here). There's a huge cast of characters in the storyline, including King Boreas, the Queen of the Snows, Klondike Kate, Vulcanus Rex, members of the Vulcan Krewe, the Four Winds and each of their wives, and more. Every year, people are elected to play these parts and march in both the Grand Day Parade at the beginning of the Carnival and the Torchlight Parade at the end of the Carnival.

I didn't get very good pictures of the parade since I was standing off to the back and my view was this:

And this:

The people in that skyway have the best view, I think.

But, a few blocks away in Rice Park, they were displaying entries for this year's ice carving competition.


Ferd said...

Great post!
I will read the whole story about King Boreas. Even your micro story sounded very interesting!
The ice sculptures are just incredible! I would have spent most of my time inspecting those. Not much for parades.
I'm glad you posted. I was hoping you hadn't quit. I figured you were just hibernating.

Berryvox said...

Yup, I'm still here. Just lost my motivation for the blog for a little while and I wasn't really going anywhere interesting. I might head over to a local museum soon though.

I was way more into the ice sculptures too. They're amazing. The competition brings in sculptors from all over the world. :) They often build a huge ice palace for the carnival too but I didn't see any mention of one this year. :(

Emm said...

These photos are lovely! The sculptures must have been a sight to see in real life!