ST. CLOUD-- A special treat awaited central Minnesotans willing to brave the cold on Friday night.

St. Cloud hosted its first outdoor carnival in the Lady Slipper Parking Lot and invited a professional sled dog musher.

Darcy Stanley-Nord, a teacher from Milaca, is in her seventh season as a musher. She says actual racing dogs don't look like we expect them to.

My job is to try and educate people. If you take a look at the dogs down here, they don’t look like probably what you see on TV. These are Alaskan Huskies. They’re a combination of dogs that have been bred for years and years that love to pull, and they love to race.

She currently has 17 dogs, many of which are rescues. Her advice to anyone interested in becoming a musher? Find a good mentor.

Having a mentor is huge. It’s important to have somebody that kind of knows what’s going on. It just makes life so much easier instead of trying to read it out of books.

The event was part of a three-day celebration leading up to the 18th Annual Winter Nights and Lights Parade. The festivities continue on Saturday with the Winter Wonderland event by Lake George.

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