As the oldest winter carnival in America, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival has been attracting families with its ice sculptures, light displays, and events since 1886, but music is also a big part of the festival.
The free Pabst Winter Carnival Music Series runs from Jan. 26 – Feb. 5 in Rice Park and will showcase local artists almost every evening during the festival. With artists like Charlie Parr along with a mix of other R&B, rock and country groups, the series hopes to bring in a wide range of music lovers.
The music series, which also overlaps with the Twin Cities Winter Jazz Festival, will feature a few local jazz groups as part of the winter carnival — but its main goal is to get music lovers to get outside and embrace the Minnesota winter.
Here’s the music schedule, with artist descriptions from the carnival.
Thursday, Jan. 26
6 p.m.: My Famous Friends — “A fun and unique cover rock duo.”
Friday, Jan. 27
6 p.m.: Poppa Bear Norton — “An old school country hillbilly band with a devil-may-care attitude.”
8 p.m.: Charlie Parr — “This Minnesota music hero has his own take on blues and folk.”
Saturday, Jan. 28
8 p.m.: Trainwreck Duet — “Acoustic with a kick, crazy banter and great music from classic rock to current pop.”
Sunday, Jan. 29
Noon: Walker West Ensemble — “A ‘jazzy’ collection of elementary and middle school students from St. Paul’s Walker West Music Academy.”
1:30 p.m.: McNasty Brass Band — “This fully-acoustic 10-piece dance band will own the stage with its raw, organic mix of brass and drums.”
Tuesday, Jan. 31
6:30 p.m.: Koo Koo Kanga Roo — “Billed as ‘the Beastie Boys meet Sesame Street,’ this comedic dance-pop duo will bring an interactive dance party to Rice Park.”
Wednesday, Feb. 1
5:15 p.m.: Mariachi Jalisco — “Playing the sound of the heart and soul of Mexico: mariachi.”
6 p.m.: West Side Band — “Established over 30 years ago, these R&B/Rockers are inducted in the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame.”
Thursday, Feb. 2
6 p.m.: White Iron Band – “Delivering a distinctive mix of blues, country and Americana roots music.”
Friday, Feb. 3
6 p.m.: Trailer Trash — “This ‘band from honky-tonk heaven’ bring traditional country music along with swing, rock, and groove.”
8 p.m.: Maiden Dixie — “A six-member group performing original and cover music with a kinetic blend of country, pop, and rock.”
Saturday, Feb. 4
4 p.m.: Dirty Shorts Brass Band — “A New Orleans-style brass band, playing everything from jazz to Dixie to funk to blues to rock n’ roll to gospel to swing…and back.”
7:30 p.m.: Chase & Ovation — “The renowned Minneapolis-based Prince tribute band will perform under the glow of a ‘purple’ Rice Park.”
Simone Cazares is a sophomore at the University of St. Thomas, majoring in communication and journalism. Originally from Miami, Fla., she survives Minnesota’s cruel winters by immersing herself in the Twin Cities music scene.