Winter Carnival steps off with U Marching Band

The University Marching Band will highlight the opening ceremony tonight when the Saint Paul Winter Carnival opens.
The band will play in the Royal Coronation at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in which the carnival’s 1998 royal family will be crowned.
The theme of this year’s carnival, “The Legend Lives,” highlights the legend behind the carnival.
According to the lore, King Boreus, who will be crowned tonight, rules the city during the Winter Carnival. When the week is over, Boreus’ enemy, Vulcanus Rex, will dethrone the king and his royal family, signifying the coming of spring.
Highlights of this year’s carnival, which runs through Feb. 8, include the ice sculptures on display all week in Rice Park, snow sculptures at the Roseville Ice Arena and a torchlight parade. This year Universal Studios added a studio, piano and stage all made out of ice to the sculpture display. The donations are meant to promote the upcoming opening of “The Blues Brothers 2000” film.
Another of the carnival’s popular features, ice skating on the Capitol Mall, might have a delayed start this year because of the weather, said Carolyn Baldus, public relations coordinator for the carnival.
University students who don’t want to attend the carnival can still buy a $3 Winter Carnival button. The button provides discounts, such as free Starbucks coffee, all week. The buttons are available at any Twin Cities Super America stores and most Starbucks establishments.

— Colleen Winters