You might also want to check out the nation's oldest winter carnival, if you're planning a ski trip to resorts around the Twin Cities the last of January. The oldest winter carnival in the nation takes place in St. Paul Jan. 27-Feb. 6.

Take an evening and enjoy the winter carnival, if you are heading to [R500R, Wild Mountain], [R2R, Afton Alps], [R89R, Buck Hill] or [R490R, Welch Village] - all located within an hour of St. Paul. All three of the surrounding ski areas have gotten off to a great start this season. Conditions have been optimum so far this season for skiing and riding.

There isn't an event they haven't tried on snow over the last century-and-a-quarter. Blanket tossing and snow golf still rate high with these Midwestern revelers.  Over 300,000 people are expected to attend this winter's event over its week long run. It's not only the nation's oldest winter carnival, it's the best attended. Events include parades, ice carving contests, snow sculptures, hockey tournaments, art and musical shows.

Follow the link below for more information and a complete schedule of events.  Winter Carnival buttons are $5 each or $20 for a four-pack, which gets you into most events. The carnival wraps up Sunday, Feb. 6, with a big fireworks display.

A lot has changed since 1887 when that first carnival took place, but not the spirit of the event. It's all about enjoying winter, which is the longest season in this neck of the woods.

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