February 5th, 1886
“The city that discovered winter” erects an enormous ice palace and crowns Boreas Rex during its first Winter Carnival. Three years later the carnival is canceled because of warm weather.” *
Sometimes, one cannot do better than let a primary source speak for itself! Please enjoy this editorial ca. 1886!
“Minneapolis day at the St. Paul winter carnival was a complete and memorable success. It is estimated that more than ten thousand Minneapolitans visited the neighbor city yesterday afternoon and evening, and St. Paul was thronged with guests from more distant points. It is hard to conceive a more fantastic, extraordinary, and brilliant sight than the “storming” of the ice palace last evening. The great transparent structure was aglow from the foundation to the top of every turret with red lights burning inside. Surrounding it were the many hundreds of brightly uniformed members of toboggan clubs and other organized sporting bodies participating in the parade, all bearing torches. These constituted the besieging army. At a given signal the assailants began to play Roman candles upon the castle, and the assault was soon followed by elaborate and profuse discharges of fireworks from within. There ensued for some time a pyrotechnic display that was indescribably gorgeous. It was a cold night, and the tens of thousands of spectators who filled the carnival grounds and blocked the adjacent streets were pretty thoroughly chilled; but their admiration and ardor triumphed over physical discomfort, and everybody was enthusiastic.
The carnival, it must be owned, is outstripping all anticipations. The people of St. Paul have shown a patriotic zeal in the matter that is simply astonishing. The whole city is organized into uniformed toboggan clubs. Men, women and children alike wear the blanket costumes and parade the streets with torches. Last winter not one of these people in a dozen would have known a toboggan from a gondola; but now tobogganing has become the supreme object of life. Doubtless this amazing and unprecedented devotion to winter sports will be followed by some reaction. But the carnival is certain to have the excellent result of permanently domesticating and popularizing in the Northwest all the healthful out-of-door recreations which are in vogue among our Canadian neighbors. St. Paul deserves the highest credit for having led the way in the promotion of this good cause. Minneapolis has not failed to show appreciation and goodwill. St. Paul will doubtless be ready to return yesterday’s compliment by coming en masse to attend the Exposition opening some months hence.” **,***
Lord, thank You for the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Thank You for the appreciation of our hearty weather it brought to many, even generations, of Minnesotans. Will You bring us into the future Jesus? Will You lead us to new forms and expressions of gratitude that honor the Creator of Snow and Winter?
Bless our inheritance to handle the rigors of frigid weather, and make us a people that can share those joys, techniques, and innovations yet unknown!
*** Welter, Ben. ”Feb. 5, 1886: St. Paul’s first Winter Carnival”, StarTribune, Mpls.,MN. Internet. 1/30/2011. http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/114876604.html