Nov 15, 2023 - Things to Do

Winter festival "The Great Northern" announces 2024 event lineup

people bunded up around a fire outside socializing

Photo courtesy of The Great Northern

Winter is coming, and so is the return of The Great Northern.

Driving the news: The annual Minnesota celebration of all things cold weather announced its 2024 lineup Tuesday, with more than 50 events planned across the Twin Cities in late January and early February.

Why it matters: Winter can feel too cold, too dark, and way too long. Bundling up and getting out can help you make the best of it.

Between the lines: The Great Northern, which began in 2021, isn't just about seasonal fun. Organizers say it's also a "call to action" about the threat climate change poses to cold weather climates.

  • As a result, the schedule includes events and a speaker series all meant to feature the issue.

Zoom in: Here are some highlights for this year's festival, which runs Jan. 25 to Feb. 4:

🍽️ The Last Supper: Obama White House chef Sam Kass headlines a "last-in-a-lifetime" dinner at The Hewing Hotel featuring items that could disappear due to a changing climate. Jan. 28 at 7pm. Tickets are $385.

🏮 Midwinter Melt: Celebrate the halfway point of winter on Feb. 2 with luminary trails on Silver Lake, a "cosmic footgolf course, " kicksledding, s'mores by the campfire, and more outdoor activities. Feb. 2 from 6pm to 9pm. Free.

🧊 The Great Northern Ice Bar: Mixologists will serve up frosty beverages out of a 100-foot ice sculpture on Nicollet Mall. Weekends Jan. 26 to Feb. 3. Tickets available soon.

🎤 Broken Ice: Indigenous Sonic Salve from the North: Indigenous performers, including Aku Matu (Iñupiaq) and Bizhiki, perform at First Avenue. Feb. 1 at 7pm Tickets: $30.

Plus: Last year's Sauna Village will return to Malcolm Yards and stay for three weeks instead of two. Jan. 19–Feb. 4. Tickets: $40-$55.

Be smart: Organizers expect tickets to sell out before the festival starts.


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