A 40-foot snowslide at CHS Field, a nearby night market with 100 vendors and lawn mower races on ice are among the events unveiled Thursday as part of the east metro’s effort to offer a full menu of activities during the Super Bowl party next year.
The Visit St. Paul convention bureau’s events include activities familiar to devotees of the annual St. Paul Winter Carnival that runs from Jan. 25 to Feb. 10. Those include the King Boreas Grand Day Parade on Jan. 27 and — weather willing — ice sculptures in Rice Park. The popular Red Bull Crashed Ice is listed as part of the action, but that takes place Jan. 18-20, the weekend before Super Bowl events begin in Minneapolis on Jan. 26.
Some newer activities focus on CHS Field, the Lowertown home of the minor league St. Paul Saints baseball team that opened in May 2015 near the Farmers Market.
The field is on the Green Line light-rail route in downtown St. Paul and will be the site of the giant slide and an ice-fishing pond. A “Bold North Winter Night Market” will be held nearby on Feb. 2-3.
At an afternoon news conference at the field, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said, “No one celebrates winter better than we do.”
Coleman, who did not seek re-election, pointed out that he’s going to be out of office during the event.
His successor, Mayor-elect Melvin Carter, was not at the news conference because he is on vacation, a spokesman said.
Saints executive vice president Derek Sharrer said the slide will have a 40-foot drop and travel about 140 feet to a point near second base. There will be entertainment on the video screens as well as concessions and heaters on the concourses. The event will run from Jan. 25-Feb. 10 on weeknights from 5-9 p.m. and longer on weekends. There will be an entry fee.
This is the first year the ballpark has been open for Winter Carnival events. Sharrer said they’re hoping to make it a tradition.
The city already has been named as the host of a few official Super Bowl events, including a Jan. 29 event where fans get their first look at players from the competing teams during Super Bowl Opening Night Fueled By Gatorade. Fans purchased tickets to sit in the Xcel Energy Center arena and watch thousands of media interview players.
St. Paul’s longtime annual celebration of winter coincides perfectly with the “Bold North” theme created by the Minnesota Super Bowl LII Host Committee working out of Minneapolis. Planners have said from the beginning that the Super Bowl would be a statewide celebration. St. Paul, with assists from Falcon Heights and Roseville, is the first city outside of Minneapolis to provide dates of “Bold North” related activities.
On the State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights, the Vulcan Snow Park will be the site of bar stool ski races and lawn mower races on ice. Winter ice skating already has begun at the Guidant John Rose MN Oval in Roseville.
The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory’s annual winter flower show will focus on the Bold North pallette of silvers, white and purple.
The entire slate of events is available on the convention bureau’s website.