The St. Paul Winter Carnival kicked off its 2020 event Friday night by announcing its royal family.

Darrin Johnson, 52, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., will reign as King Boreas LXXXIV, the King of the Winds. He’s sponsored by the Splat Tag Paintball Park of Hudson.

Kirstin Knutson, 25, of New Richmond, Wis., is this year’s Aurora, Queen of the Snows. She’s sponsored by Bob and Cheryl Flood.

Knutson, who was chosen from among 10 candidates, grew up in Isanti, Minn., and is a counselor at a Woodbury charter school. According to her online biography, she earned a degree in psychology from St. Catherine University in St. Paul and a master’s degree in education at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Other royalty named Friday:

• Prime Minister Joseph Johnston, sponsored by SPIRE Credit Union.

• Titan, Prince of the North Wind Michael Sawyer, sponsored by Hamernick’s Interior Solutions.

• North Wind Princes Tiara Gowen, sponsored by Long’s Auto.

• Euros, Prince of the East Wind Don Weinberger, sponsored by Peterson Brothers Roofing, Walter’s Recycling and Metro Gravel.

• East Wind Princess Aly Vogel, sponsored by LCS Company.

• Zephyrus, Prince of the West Wind Dan Moran, sponsored by LCS Company.

• West Wind Princess Kara Wattunen, sponsored by the River Run Team and ReMax Results.

• Notos, Prince of the South Wind Ben Johnson, sponsored by Coulee Bank and Boca Chica.

• South Wind Princess Lynnae Boe, sponsored by Majestic and Silver Threads.

• Captain of the Guard Tom Kreuser, sponsored by Ice Man Industries.

• Sergeant of the Guard Christopher Schmitt, sponsored by Mavo Systems.

• King’s Guards Nick Rotter, sponsored by Nardini Fire Equipment; Patrick Bedford, sponsored by Viking Drill and Tool; Sean Barrett, sponsored by Guardian Pest Solutions; Alex Diamond, sponsored by Mama T’s Castle Tap, and Mike Acciari, sponsored by Twin City Hide.

• Royal Coordinator Kat Christopherson.

• Klondike Kate Shelley Pabst of South St. Paul, sponsored by St. Croix Hospice (chosen Jan. 8.)

The Winter Carnival runs through Feb. 2 in and around Rice Park in St. Paul. For more information, go to

Correction: A previous version incorrectly said where Darrin Johnson lives.