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St. Paul's Winter Carnival is running behind on sponsorship funds

Saint Paul Winter Carnival organizers struggle with securing sponsorships
Saint Paul Winter Carnival organizers struggle with securing sponsorships 01:58

ST. PAUL, Minn. — It won't be long before Rice Park in St. Paul transforms into Twin Cities winter tradition, the Winter Carnival.

"We bring music and entertainment, and other activities where all people of all different ethnicities, ages, socioeconomics come together to really celebrate winter," explained CEO and President of the St. Paul and Heritage Foundation Lisa Jacobson. 

Jacobson has been at the helm of the non-profit and wants to the 138th year to be something special. But in order to put on a successful carnival, year after year, Jacobson says they need your help.

"We can't do it without the support of the community," said Jacobson.

Fundraising has fallen behind this year. The carnival is still looking for sponsors for their parades, fireworks, the fire and ice run, as well as the for the park itself.

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"We need sponsorships starting at $5,000 for some of the smaller events and $50,000 for our big entertainment stage," said Jacobson. 

Jacobson says she can't say for certain but believes the funding shortfall has to do with the economy, namely inflation.

"Festivals and events are extras, you know they're nice to do, they're not absolutes in anyone's life," said Jacobson.

Jacobson hopes to gain enough in fundraising and sponsorship dollars to avoid having to cancel like other holiday events have had too -- like Holidazzle.

"We truly believe that the community and the corporate friends will step up and we won't have to cancel any portion of the Winter Carnival," said Jacobson. "The Winter Carnival has far too much history to see that happen."

One of the single biggest fundraisers for the Winter Carnival is Saturday at Union Depot where they'll be unveiling the 2024 Winter Carnival buttons. Buttons will be on sale for $5 each. 

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