By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

The coldest fun I ever had

Wick's World


February 1, 2018

Disclaimer: This story should in no way, shape or form influence the Super Bowl fans that will be flocking to the Twin Cities next weekend for the most over-hyped and overpriced day of entertainment yet to be concocted. I went to one of the many websites selling tickets to check the lowest price available last night and found one seat in the last row, behind the costliest set of glass and steel girders ever assembled — $4,425. This is not a typo; over four grand!

If only my entrepreneurship had kicked in earlier, I could have simultaneously held the First Annual Supper Bowl. For a mere 10 bucks, you could have all the watered down chicken broth you could consume and keep the plastic bowl embossed with (you guessed it) “Wick’s First Annual Supper Bowl.”

I see no need to apologize to the fickle fans from Philly about our weather. Their sports fans long ago learned how to behave like drunken, immature adolescents the City of Brotherly Love is famous for. Be sure to hide your bottles of schnapps. The Eagles fans might like our hot chocolate/peppermint schnapps beverage for which we are famous that we may have a mass migration from Philadelphia to the Twin Cities.

Now, let’s get to the point about having “The Coldest Fun I Ever Had.” As many Super Bowl fans will be coming from Boston and Philadelphia, the cold weather of Minnesota should have a minimal impact. After all, the two cities lie well north of the Mason-Dixon Line. In addition, how often do you hear about snowbirds flocking to Beantown or Philly for the winter?

This weekend, I took my wife and our South Dakota friends to the centerpiece of this year’s Super Bowl entertainment — the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Our first mistake was checking with the weatherman. He assured us we would have temperatures a few degrees above freezing and for the most part, the sun would be shining. What’s presented on the Weather Channel and what’s presented when you open your car door can be two entirely different experiences. A windy 34 degrees is cold no matter how brightly the sun is shining.

After circling downtown St. Paul we finally landed a parking spot. It was inside a parking ramp and had a set fee called "Event Parking," $15. We were all prepared to chip in and split the tab, four ways. After about 10 minutes of working out the math, we decided we were wasting precious time better spent at The Famous St. Paul Outdoor Winter Carnival. The event's name was getting longer as our patience was getting shorter. The weatherman was correct about the temperature in the mid 30s. He was also right on as the sun was shining brightly even as it put out about as much heat as an ice candle. For you out-of-town Super Bowl fans who don’t know what an ice candle is, go to the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Ask any little kid dressed in a Vikings stocking cap; the ones that have two golden pigtails hanging from them. They can tell you all kinds of ways to have fun in the cold.

We arrived just as the parade was ending, so that explained our parking problem. It failed to explain what else there was to do, besides avoid the streets that acted like frozen wind tunnels.

After walking through the genuine Ice Castle, I had reached my limit of cold fun. My cowboy hat had given me no warmth. I had left my gloves in the car and there is only so much depth to a leather jacket in which to plunge numbed fingers. So, we all agreed to make a mad dash back to the parking ramp. The dollar per minute charge for parking was beginning to feel like a bargain.

I later learned from real live St. Paul residents that the carnival has continuous activities all day long. You just need to go with someone in the know. Or on Super Bowl weekend, you can stay in your $800 a night room at the Days Inn and watch the festivities on the tube; thermostat included.


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