ST. PAUL -- There's a lot of talk about the Super Bowl coming to Minneapolis, but across the river in St. Paul they are getting ready for a big celebration of their own. The 132nd annual St. Paul Winter Carnival starts this Thursday.

President and CEO Deb Schaber says they'll be lighting the ice palace at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.

We're about 80 percent complete and we're putting lights in now.  It's going to be about 70 feet fall.  About 2.5 million pounds of ice being installed.  And it will be beautiful in downtown St. Paul in Rice Park.

Schaber says most of the festival's events will be held in Rice Park and at the State Fairgrounds.

The Royal family will be crowned on Friday.

This year's St. Paul Winter Carnival is 17 days, which is longer than usual, to coincide with the Super Bowl. Schaber says they traditionally expect about 300,000 visitors, but with the longer event this year those numbers should be even higher.

Schaber says, because they have more days this year, they've added several new events.

I think one of the highlights this year would be the Olympic Winter Fest coming to Rice Park on February 3rd.  They're bringing a bobsled and even Olympians.

They have several competitions planned including ice carving, snow sculpting, and autonomous snow plowing.

It runs through February 10th.