(2 posts in one day, I know, wierd....)
Every year the city of St. Paul, MN hosts a huge Pagan festival the last week in January to banish winter and welcome back the summer season. The Winter Carnival has been a part of the yearly celebrations in MN since 1886, missing only one year during WW2.
The legend is that Boreas (King of the Winds) and the Queen of the Snows happened upon St. Paul and declared that the city be the location of a 10 Day celebration of Winter. Vulcanus Rex (The King of Fire) and his krewe of Vulcans plotted to stop the winter revelry and manage to depose King Boreas from his throne at the end of the 10 day celebration. Boreas, the Queen of the Snows and the 4 winds (brothers of Boreas) chose to leave the city to return the following year. It's an awesome time! The Vulcans are my favorite!!!!
They ride around on an 1932 Luverne Firetruck, made in Luverne, MN and cause general mayhem and drum up supporters to oust Boreas from the city. They mark their supporters with a black V on your cheek. I have to get my mark every year!
One of the annual activities is the snow sculpting and one of my friends has participated in the competition for the last 10 years. This year's team was once again all SCA and the theme was "Slip, Sliding away" and featured a bunch of playful otters, doing what otters do best.
There were 14 Teams of snow sculptors and all the teams were excellent!
This team won the populace vote and the artist vote. It was truly amazing!
This whimsical piece came in 3rd with the judges.
Second place was a young boy on a dock titled "Summertime Dreams". It was a lovely piece, but I didn't get a picture of it.
First place went to the 2 headed dragon.
The Vulcan pick was "Boreas in July" and showed a rather portly guy in an adorondac chair sipping a cool drink and listening to an I-pod. I thought I got a picture of that piece, but I guess I will need to go back.
We walked through the ice maze. Got "marked" by the Krewe. Visited with all the dogs that were out and about. Looked at all of the ice sculptures.
Warmed up in the "Hot Dish" tent and generally had a good time. The weather was clear and sunny, but cold, somewhere around 7 degrees F. Not too bad if you dressed for it.