On This Date In Twin Cities History - February 1, 1886

On this date in 1886, the first St. Paul Winter Carnival opens showcasing a 102 foot tall Ice Palace.  The palace, built at a cost of $5,210, was designed by Alexander Hutchinson who had designed ice palaces for Montreal’s winter carnivals the previous three years.  The idea of the St. Paul Winter Carnival was developed by local business owners after several Eastern newspaper correspondents, upon returning from St. Paul in the fall of 1885, wrote that Minnesota was, in general, “another Siberia, unfit for human habitation”.  The Carnival was created to showcase all the beauty of Minnesota winters.

1886 St. Paul Winter Carnival Ice Palace