A gleaming palace of ice will once again lord over the St. Paul Winter Carnival.

Climbing to a height of 70 feet, the 2018 palace is the first to grace St. Paul’s celebration of winter since 2004. Made up of more than 4,000 blocks of ice, and weighing nearly 4 million pounds, the palace cost about $800,000 to build at the south edge of Rice Park — ground zero for most Winter Carnival activities.

While not as grand as palaces built in 1986 (carnival centennial) or 1992 (the last time Minnesota hosted the Super Bowl), officials still expect plenty of “wow” factor. Multicolor LED lights will bathe the castle in light at night, providing a stunning backdrop to Rice Park activities

The ice palace opens Thursday night and is free and open to the public.