The Best Days of Winter

Thoughts on Winter Carnival.

The best days of winter are upon us.  It is time for the Coolest Celebration on Earth (also known as the St. Paul Winter Carnival).  There is something for everyone with activities taking place indoors and outdoors.  I can't think of a better thing to do in the dead of winter than to watch a parade and not give the weather a second thought. One of my earliest memories of the Winter Carnival is hunting for the medallion.  Starting in the late 60's dad would get home from work and mom would have us kids bundled up and ready to go.  The thermos would be full of hot cocoa and sandwiches were packed in the cooler.  Dad would change into his winter boots and jacket and off we would go.  We would pull into the park where the clues led us and off we would go.  Shovels and rakes were unloaded from the back of the station wagon and the hunt would begin.  Everyone loved to share their opinion and thoughts on where the medallion might be hidden.  Groups of people would gather in certain spots to look over the clues and then the surmising would begin.  The larger the crowd the closer we knew we were to finding the medallion. Many times there would a bonfire going in one of the firepits to keep the hunters warm and many stories were told around that fire of near misses and "I was standing right there when they found it".  We were never that fortunate to have been the finder of the medallion but I recall on more than one ocassion being in the park and near the vicinity when the roar of the crowd swelled as the lucky hunter would shout out that they had found the medallion and then they would take off running towards their car.  We were always told that if that should it ever be us that came upon the medallion that we were to put it into our pocket and then let dad know that we needed to leave right away.  He would know that we held the medallion. The Grand Day Parade is another event that I have been attending for years.  It has never lost its fun factor for me.  I love to watch the bands march by, the bouncing team throwing the girls high into the air, the hot air balloon fire being bellowed and the royalty from all over the state waving to the crowds.  I have been to the parade when it has rained in January and when it has been sub-zero; it remains the same - a fantastically fun event that seems to that out January just a bit. If you dare, take in an event or two during the 2012 Winter Carnival.  Whether it be the ice carvings at Rice Park, one of the many free events at Landmark Center, the Vulcan Victory Dance, the World's Toughest Rodeo, or the Saintly City Cat Show there is certain to be something that will bring you your own fun factor.

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