2012 Winter What-To-Do


2011 Crashed Ice. Photo by Red Bull.

Crashed Ice.  Ice cross downhill. Insanity on ice. Ice cross downhill has been referred to as a hybrid high-speed sport that is a combination of speed skating, boardercross, and downhill skiing. If you’ve been near the Cathedral at any time since Christmas, you may have noticed a large track being constructed from just north of the Cathedral and extending all the way over the steps, across John Ireland Boulevard, and landing close to 35E.  It features a steep 45-degree starting ramp with a kicker that will result in the sport’s longest-ever jumps. Racing at speeds up to 37 mph, the padded, skate-wearing extreme athletes will take on the quarter-mile track of jumps, a bridge, and faster-than-sightseeing views of the Cathedral.  All on ice.  The rules are simple: With four racers per race, the one who crosses the finish line first wins.  There will be competitors from 30 countries around the world all working toward a better and better score as they skate through the World Championship races that start here in St. Paul but then proceeds to Valkenburg, Netherlands, and Aare, Sweden, in February and ends on March 17 in Quebec, Canada.  The winner of each competition wins 1,000 points and competitors all the way down to 100th (0.5 point) can collect points. Whoever finishes the season with the most points will be crowned the 2012 Red Bull Crashed Ice World Champion.

Starting in 2001, ice cross downhill has only had a World Championship competition since 2009.  The last time a competition even close to this magnitude has occurred in the United States was 2004.  St. Paul is proud to be hosting it this year and, as our oddly balmy weather has been a surprise to all of us, it’s a good thing that the ice canal has a large coolant system to keep it frozen.

2011 Crashed Ice. Photo by Red Bull.

Be sure to cheer for the Minnesotans in the group.  Early in December over 200 athletes tried out at the Xcel Energy Center to qualify for the Championship competition showing off their speed and agility with a series of jumps, slides and hairpin turns. The fastest 31 competitors from the day advanced to the main event this weekend.

Read up on the event materials courtesy of the City of Saint Paul:

Spectator Guide
Crashed Ice Course Diagram
FAQ (Parking, Photography/Video Rules, Viewing Areas)
Schedule of Events

2012 Crashed Ice World Championship
St. Paul, MN
January 12 – 14
Free to public


Art Shanty. Photo courtesy of Peter Haakon Thompson.

Art Shanty Project: 24 Shanties. 1 Lake. 9 Days of Artful Winter Experience.

The Art Shanties are back! We missed them last year, but they’re gracing Medicine Lake in 2012—with the huge caveat that ice houses require ice.  Inspired by ice fishing houses, this temporary artist community set up for public tour is as much an embrace of our cold Minnesota winter as it is a rebellion against experiencing it conventionally.  The same can be said of art.  According to Peter Haakon Thompson, Art Shanty Projects Director, “Expect innovation, intrigue, and caprice in an unpredictable environment. With 20 Shanties and 20 roving performances, this vibrant laboratory will engage audiences directly in a community space that is part art gallery, part art residency and part social experiment.”  More links and in-depth explanations are available on the Art Shanty Project website, but here is an abridged guide taken from it so you can make your own Shanty Plan:

The Naughty Shanty
Sarah Honeywell, Aneesa Adams, Marieka Heinlen, Angela Maki-Jones, Mo Honeywell
This shanty is designed to allure you and spark your curiosity from far across the ice. It appears like a warm, red, apparition of intrigue in the middle of a white tundra. Around the exterior of the Naughty Shanty, visitors are invited to interact with the structure by peeking into peep-holes that reveal tiny, naughty scenes inside. Naughty, not dirty.

Basketball Shanty
Sarah Baker, Beth Chekola, Jess Hirsch, Broc Blegen, Sam Hoolihan, Tye Kerr, Eamonn McCalin, Ben Moren, Stefani Motta
Basketball is a winter sport, but has yet to engage with the seasonal surroundings of a Minnesota winter. The basketball shanty brings a visceral regulation size court to the ice and provides a locker room warming hut to investigate the inner workings of locker room dynamics.

Robot Reprise
Mark Safford, Julian McFaul, Krista Pearson, Stephan Thust, Xena Huff, Andy Kedl, Douglas Saldana
Back with the bot newer better and with a few more gadgets. The Robo shanty is all about Flintstone technology with the impetus to get in and push an invitation to all comers four people can usually push eight riders, or take a swing with seven other friends in the bowels of the bot.

The Shanty of Wonder
Kermit Boyum, Matthew Nupen
Resting ominously on the ice, The Shanty of Wonder only reveals its secrets to people with a strong will and warm mittens.

Reflection Shanty
Brian Nigus, Katy Vonk, Jenny Bookler, Eric Frye, Mel Nguyen
In an effort to produce a beautiful and multi-purpose space for contemplation, new ideas and social activities, we bring you the Reflection Shanty.

Fort Shanty
Lauren Herzak-Bauman, Megan Wicker, Molly Balcom Raleigh, Alex Newby, Abigail Merlis, Areca Roe
The Fort Shanty is a space to build imaginary, intimate places not unlike those we made as children. Engage your sense of delight and play as you build your own fort using an assortment of pillows, pulleys, ropes and more.

ICE-Cycles Shanty
Maryanna Harstad, Janet Groenert, Meg Kosowski, Peter Schulze, Lisa Carlson, Eric Hofstad, Kurt Seaberg, Patti Paulson, Mina and Greg Leierwood
Experience the joy of art, bicycles, winter weather and fashionable self-expression in a completely new way to help visitors enjoy winter riding, and educate participants on ways to safely take the fun home.

Nordic Village Bridge
Valerie Borey, David Christian, Jens Henrik Selin, Kathryn Selin, Allison Spenader, Jeff Gerhardson, Ross Dybvig
Run by the staff and villagers of Concordia Language Villages and using cultural references to bridges and trolls in Nordic story and myth, the goal is to challenge visitors’ assumptions about what it means to bridge cultures in our global community.

Art Shanty. Photo courtesy of Peter Haakon Thompson.

Camera Head: Invert Your World
Andy Mattern, Joe Kaercher, Mark Kritz, Brady McClaran
Inspired by the history of photography, the Camera Head shanty is a mobile laboratory where visitors will have the opportunity to check out a head-mounted camera obscura.

Sashay Shantay
Danielle Everine, Carly Schoen, Rachel Baumann, Lela Hoarst Baumann, Lindsay Rhyner, Emrys Stramer, Alex Schroeter, Tony Lanners, Leif Ogren
Join us for a treasure hunting, photo booth fashion journey! Inspired by frozen winds and pioneering voyages, Sashay Shantay aims to recall the romanticism of winters of yore.

Capitol Hill
Aaron Rosenblum, Hannah Rivenburgh, Andrew Gramm, Jael O’Hare, Peter Valelly, Jacque Kutvirt
Capitol Hill appears on the ice as a monument to the absurdities of government.

Monsters Under The Bed Shanty
Rachel Bendtsen, Matt Mackall, Cali Mastny, Caly McMorrow, Aaron Prust, Scott Raleigh, Cole Sarar
Monsters Under the Bed Shanty is a fantastic getaway under a giant bed with all the creature comforts. Visitors of every age can socialize and relax in a friendly monster-positive environment.

Audio Adventure Shanty
Brady Clark, Mykle Hansen, Kelly Peach
The Audio Adventure Shanty provides visitors to the Art Shanty Projects the opportunity to experience the project more richly by taking a narrated tour. Headphones are available for checkout to take scheduled tours leaving at set times throughout the day.

30 Star Shanty
Jen Goepfert, Andrew Arlt, VOA SALT High School Students
Minnesota became a territory in 1849 – when the flag would have had 30 stars on it. This shanty is all about trying to recreate the life and times of 1849 – 1858.

Tory Roff, Bridget Beck, Erick Briden, Warren Samuel, Dan Isaacs
This winter, we want to engage visitors to Medicine Lake in the most universal form of interpersonal interaction… play. We are making a giant sit-and-spin shanty reminiscent of one of our favorite childhood toys.

Actually I’ve Been Pioneering New Enthusiasms
Molly Reichert, John Kim, John Moore, Daniel Dean, Emily Stover
Actually, I’ve Been Pioneer New Enthusiasms is an art shanty that will be built from a salvaged Avion travel trailer. It will house parametrically designed interior spaces that form multiple organic and body-friendly surfaces on which people can rest, warm themselves and relax…sauna included.  Bring your suit and towel.

Solar Ark Shanty
Aaron Marx, Aaron Squadroni, John Tapp, Mike Vanvleet, Dan Yudchitz, Allison Fritz-Salzman, James Howarth, Matthew Finn, Derek Peterson, Patrick Smith
Two fundamental elements that shape people’s experience on a lake during a Minnesota winter are ice and sunlight. The Solar Ark Shanty is a vessel for encountering the sun that will provide opportunities for people to alter the sun’s relationship to the frozen lake.

One Room Schoolhouse
Anthony Warnick, Katinka Galanos, Patricia Healy, Alyson Cward, Derek Ernster
Building on the traditions of the rural one-room schoolhouses during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, we re-claim this mode of all-inclusive, non-hierarchical learning.

Dance Shanty
Mike Rasmussen, John Each, Jon Pedersen, Mike Hoolihan
The Dance Shanty is a public space constructed on a frozen lake where the boundaries between artist and observer are pushed, blurred, flipped, popped and locked in the pursuit of positive personal and communal transformation.

Letterpress Shanty
MC Hyland, Jeff Peterson, Jonathon Peterson, Sarah Fox, Sara Parr
Bringing you the latest in shanty news, opinion and wild exaggerations–hot off the presses every day–the Letterpress Shanty is home to the Art Shanty Projects’ communally authored newspaper, The Shantyquarian.

On Ice Coordinators Shanty
Kelsey Nelsen, Alicia Dvorak

·The Board Shanty
ASP Board Of Directors and Staff

The Welcome Shanty
Paula Engelking and the SciGirls (Grace, Greta, Nikita, and Sukhmani)

The Social Shanty
Lucas Koski

2012 Art Shanty Projects
Medicine Lake, Plymouth MN
Saturdays and Sundays (10am-5pm)
January 14-February 5 (including MLK Day)
No driving on ice, no dogs, no alcohol in park. Please dress warmly.


City of Lakes Loppet. Photo by Hubert Bonnet.

Other Fun Fests:

City of Lakes Loppet
Minneapolis, MN
A festival of cross-country ski related activities.  Between Theodore Wirth Park and Uptown, the city will be host to racers, spectators, vendors, and artists.  A sculpture contest, plenty of beer and brats, skijoring, ice-cycling, and lovely luminaries make for an amazing weekend.  Hopefully, Minnesota will do its share and provide the perfect weather conditions for this famous festival.

2012 Saint Paul Winter Carnival
St. Paul, MN
January 26 – February 5, 2012
The 126th Annual Saint Paul Winter Carnival promises to pack a whole lot into a little time yet again this year.  Dogsled racing, geocaching, fashion show, Medallion hunt, coronations, Klondike Kates, and so much more.  If you register as a queer Medallion hunting team, let us know.  We’d love to keep up with you and post your progress online.  Go team!

Science Museum of Minnesota Omnifest
St. Paul, MN
Through February 17, 2012
Five films. One amazing theater.
Omnifest 2012 brings you five new films showing daily in the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Omnitheater. The films run in daily rotation, giving you the opportunity to see up to five films in one day.  Stay warm and hunker down. Showing this year: Journey Into Amazing Caves, Amazon, Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure, Wolves, and Search for the Great Sharks.

7th-annual U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
Minneapolis, MN
January 20 – 22, 2012
Pond Hockey.  In Minnesota.  We breathe ice, we smile to hear the scraping of skates, and it’s all the better when the sun is on our faces.  The wind might be whipping, but we’re on Lake Nokomis and life is good. Coed divisions for competition include Open, Open 40+, Open 50+, Rink Rats, Women (not coed), and Boot Hockey.

Wells Fargo WinterSkate
St. Paul, MN
Through February 5, 2012
Visit Saint Paul, the City of Saint Paul and Wells Fargo invite you to experience Wells Fargo WinterSkate, downtown Saint Paul’s free, outdoor, artificially-chilled ice skating rink in the shadow of Landmark Center.  Skating is free and skate rental is $2 per person. Receive free skate rental for you and your immediate family by showing your Wells Fargo check card or credit card.  Be sure to check the online schedule as there are times for open skate as well as hockey times, corporate events, and broomball teams.


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