Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

update date for Top Events USA
top 20 USA events


Top Jazz Festivals in the USA Saint Paul Winter Carnival

late January to early February – Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is the oldest winter festival in the United States.

This festival in Minnesota, also, in fact, predates the Tournament of Roses Festival by two years.

So how did all begin?

Enthusiasts worked with the City of Montreal which had a winter carnival in place. Due to a Small Pox epidemic which suspended the 1886 Montreal Festival, Saint Paul lured Alexander Hutchinson, the designer of Montreal’s ice palaces in 1883, 1884, and 1885 to blueprint Saint Paul’s first ice castle. The castle was constructed on February 1st, 1886 at a cost of $5,210 with a height of 106 feet. A comparison to this first castle is the Pepsi Palace of 1992 with a cost of $1,900,000 and a height of 165 feet (a Guinness record).

As with the concept of the Montreal Festival, the legend and other activities were also adapted.

The Ice King became King Boreas who was accompanied by Queen Aurora. The characters in turn became King Boreas and the Queen of the Snows.

The mischievous Vulcan and his red-caped Krewe were created from the Germanic tradition of the energy and disruption which springtime brings to the final days of winter in the traditional lore.

The legend itself was initially written down by newspaper columnist Fran Madden in 1937 and has been updated and revised ever since.

Today King Boreas and the Queen of the Snows rule over approximately 21 members of the Royal Family including Boreas’s four brothers Titan, Euros, Zephyrus and Notos along with their four princesses, the Prime Minister and up to ten Royal Guards. To end the Winter Carnival festival is the dethroning of Boreas by the Vulcan Krewe.

The Royal Family and Vulcan Krewe are made up of volunteers that make over 400 appearances during the year to festivals (local and national), nursing homes, schools and hospitals on behalf of the Winter Carnival and the City of Saint Paul.
The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is produced by the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation and is funded by private donations and corporate contributions. The Board of Directors, supported by hundreds of corporate and individual members, employs a full time staff to help plan this community celebration.

For more information visit the Saint Paul Winter Carnival web site at

For other events in Minnesota visit:

New Top Events USA nominations

As proud as we are about the pains we have taken to make sure our lists of top events in the USA are as accurate as possible - there is no doubt that we have missed some very important events and we are always keen to hear responses and suggestions about possible additions to the site . . .

If you have any suggestions please let us know. Please take the time to share your views on the selections of the top events in the USA as presented here at Top Events USA.

For more details about the Top USA events featured at Top Events USA and what criteria should be examined before making any suggestions, please visit:  


Battle of Horseshoe Bend
Moundville Native American Festival

Bisbee 1000 Great Stair Climb
Navajo Nation Fair
Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival
World Championship Hoop Dance Contest

Bay to Breakers 12K
Coarsegold Tarantula Festival

Annual Craft Expo
Antique & Classic Boat Rendezvous

Jacksonville Jazz Festival
Pensacola Beach Air Show
Tallahassee Springtime Festival
Tallahassee Winter Festival and Celebration of Lights

Savannah Music Festival
Blessing of the Fleet

Honolulu Marathon

Coeur d'Alene Resort Holiday Light Show

Indianapolis 500
Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration
Indiana State Fair
Feast of the Hunters’ Moon

Des Moines Arts Festival

Dodge City Days
Smoky Hill River Festival

American Quilter’s Society National Quilt Show
Great American Brass Band Festival
Hillbilly Days
International Bar-B-Q Festival
Jerusalem Ridge Festival
Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Festival
Mainsstrasse Village Oktoberfest
St James Court Art Show
World Chicken Festival

Lake Charles Contraband Days

Ocean City Sunfest

The Boston Marathon

Holland Tulip Time Festival
Great Lakes Folk Festival

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival

The Mississippi Delta Blues Festival

Burning Man

New Hampshire
League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair
New Hampshire Maple Weekend
New Hampshire Seafood Festival
Strawbery Banke Museum Candlelight Stroll

New Mexico
Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
Santa Fe Indian Market
Santa Fe Spanish Market

New York
Oswego Harborfest

North Carolina
` • Biltmore Festival of Flowers
North Carolina Azalea Festival
North Carolina Seafood Festival

Columbus Arts Festival
The Vectron Dayton Air Show

Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival

Fall Kite Festival
Whale Watching Events

Rhode Island
Newport Jazz Festival
Newport Winter Fetival
Rhode Island International Film Festival

South Carolina
Beaufort Water Festival
Carolina Cup

South Dakota
Fort Sisseton Historical Festival
Tabor Czech Days

Dogwood Arts Fetival
Mule Day
Secret City Festival

Terlingua International Chili Championship

The Moab Music Festival

Washington DC
The National Cherry Blossom Festival

Washington State International Kite Festival
National Lentil Festival

American Birkebeiner
EAA AirVenture
Milwaukee Irish Fest
Milwaukee Summerfest

Cody Stampede Rodeo
Woodchoppers Jamboree and Rodeo