On the most wintry of weekends Twin Citians have seen, well, since last winter, the button designs of the St. Paul Winter Carnival were revealed on a windswept and subfreezing evening in the heart of downtown.

Peeling back the euphemistic veil on the button designs in snow-dusted Rice Park, along with the ceremonial holiday tree lighting, signified the formal announcement of the 131st version of “The Coolest Celebration on Earth,” which runs from Jan. 26 to Feb. 5.

The buttons were designed by John Kocon of Ham Lake, and they depict Rice Park, the Kings of the Winter Carnival, the state of Minnesota, and many a Minnesotan’s first protection against winter’s wrath — a knit cap.

The sale of the buttons, $5 each or all four for $19, starts at their unveiling and shovels in the biggest portion of fund­raising proceeds for the carnival organizers. Purchasers also get coupons and a chance to win $5,000 in the Treasure Hunt.

Cub and SuperAmerica are among the retailers selling the buttons. For further details about the carnival, go to wintercarnival.com.

Paul Walsh