Chef Collaborations Are Latest Addition to 10-Day Lineup


January 9, 2017

Tara Niebeling
m: +1 952 270 9478


MINNESOTA – Sharing its mission to embrace the cold and celebrate winter, The Great Northern will bring the party outside with 10 consecutive days of outdoor dining events. The wintry experiences include a happy hour in historic Rice Park, an outdoor dinner in the North Loop, a bar in the middle of Lake Nokomis, the 8th annual Beer Dabbler, and many more outdoor delights for the entire family.

The Great Northern is a new collaborative winter experience founded by event leaders from the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, and Eric Dayton of Askov Finlayson. Presented by Target, The Great Northern’s food-focused programming will feature a blend of all-new original events, as well as heritage events in partnership with its founding partners.

“There’s nothing more Minnesotan than enjoying an outdoor meal or drink with friends and a good fire,” said Eric Dayton, part of The Great Northern leadership team. “And there’s no reason we can’t enjoy those traditions in winter, too! These unique winter experiences across Saint Paul and Minneapolis offer something for everyone, and they all tap into the same spirit of camaraderie and celebrating the cold and snow that is fueling The Great Northern.”

New programming includes a rare series of outdoor dining events in partnership with local top chefs. The three signature dinners include a Surly beer garden gathering featuring an outdoor sauna, a sumptuous candlelit North Loop dinner led by chefs from The Bachelor Farmer and Spoon and Stable, and a Saint Paul feast from the minds behind Revival, Saint Dinette, and Corner Table.

“The seasonality of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is what drew me back home. The cold, the snow, all of it shapes our story in the kitchen,” said Gavin Kaysen, executive chef and owner of Spoon and Stable. “When the snow falls, we share meals that warm the soul. These collaborative dinners reflect the spirit of The Great Northern, and they offer something for everyone to enjoy.”



Friday, January 27 – Sunday, January 29

Hard Rock Café and Labatt Blue Blue Zone at the U.S. Pond Hockey Tournament
Fans and players at the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships can kick back at the Hard Rock Café, which is open each day during the three-day event. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Also, make sure to stop by the Labatt Blue Blue Zone, voted one of the ‘World’s Best Hockey Bars,’ for games and entertainment.

Time: Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Location: Lake Nokomis
Tickets: Free, food and beverage available for purchase


Monday, January 30

A Winter Table from The Bachelor Farmer, Spoon and Stable, and Meritage
In Minneapolis’ bustling North Loop neighborhood, The Bachelor Farmer’s Paul Berglund and Spoon and Stable’s Gavin Kaysen will present an elegant outdoor experience. North First Street between the two restaurants will be closed and dramatically transformed to make room for a luminary-strewn table set for 100, flanked by warming bonfires. Guests will enjoy a four-course ode to the experience of eating outdoors and the beauty of Minnesota winters. They’ll be treated to icy seafood towers from Russell Klein of Meritage in St. Paul, wine and cocktail pairings throughout dinner, custom Faribault Woolen Mill blankets, and handmade s’mores kits.

Date: Monday, January 30 at 5:30 p.m.
Location: North First Street in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis
Tickets: $395 (incl. all tax, gratuity, valet and beverage pairings), to purchase, visit:


Tuesday, January 31

Saint Paul Winter Carnival Frozen Family Fun Night
Frozen Family Fun Night is aimed at families to enjoy all the Saint Paul Winter Carnival has to offer. Featuring live music from Koo Koo Kanga Roo, billed as “the Beastie Boys meet Sesame Street,” this comedic dance-pop duo will bring an interactive dance party to Rice Park. Other activities include a visit from the Saint Paul Mounted Police, Winter Carnival Junior Royalty, Elsa & Anna, food trucks & more.

Time: 5-8 p.m.
Location: Rice Park
Tickets: Free, food and beverage available for purchase


Saint Paul Chef’s Experience from Saint Dinette, Revival, and Corner Table
Join Chef Thomas Boemer of Corner Table and Revival, and Chef Adam Eaton of Saint Dinette for a French Canadian-inspired, outdoor winter feast. These lauded chefs will personally tend to open flames as they serve up a selection of sweet and savory, soul-warming dishes, all under the awnings of the Saint Paul Farmer's Market. Guests will enjoy skewered meats, smoked fish, toasted bread, warm maple syrup, and more. Master minds Tim Niver, Laurel Elm, and Nick Rancone will also craft chilled, warm, and spiked beverages, available a la carte, to add to a beautiful evening of dining and imbibing in the Lowertown neighborhood of Saint Paul.

Time: 6–9 p.m.
Location: Saint Paul Farmers Market
Tickets: $30 (incl. entry, tax and food), to purchase, visit:


Wednesday, February 1

Ice to Spice Boca Chica Restaurante y Cantina and El Burrito Mercado Present Cinco Night in Rice Park
Cinco de Mayo takes over Rice Park, enjoy authentic tamales, elotes and jalapeno eating contest! Live music from Mariachi Jalisco, playing the sound of the heart and soul of Mexico, and West Side Band, rockin’ the West Side for 35 years.

Time: 5-8 p.m.
Location: Saint Paul Winter Carnival, Rice Park
Tickets: Free, food and beverage available for purchase


Surly Kraftskivan from Brewer’s Table and Heirloom, featuring 612 Sauna Society
The Swedish “Kraftskivan” party, traditionally held in summer, is getting The Great Northern treatment as Surly’s Executive Chef Jorge Guzman and his Brewer’s Table team join forces with Wyatt Evans of Saint Paul’s Heirloom, flipping the script to host a wintery outdoor Kraftskivan crayfish party at Surly Brewing Co. Revelers will also enjoy smoked sturgeon, other Scandinavian delicacies, and brewery innovations from Surly Brewing, and can experience the debut of the nation’s first community-owned mobile sauna, courtesy of 612 Sauna Society. Grab some crayfish and then sweat it out in a sauna-on-wheels in the Surly beer garden.

Time: 6–9 p.m.
Location: Surly Brewing Co. Beer Garden
Tickets: Free entry, food and beverage available for purchase (pre-book the Kraftskiva package here


Thursday, February 2

“Not Your Father’s” Happy Hour
Get a head start on the weekend, grab some friends and join us in Rice Park for happy hour. Enjoy a Not Your Father’s Root Beer or Ginger Ale, beer or glass of wine. Saint Paul’s own Black Market BBQ will be serving up Not Your Father’s Root Beer glazed ribs and live music from White Iron Band.

Time: 5-8 p.m.
Location: Saint Paul Winter Carnival, Rice Park
Tickets: Free, food and beverage available for purchase


Friday, February 3 – Sunday, February 5

Surly Beer Garden & Food Trucks
Fans and participants can enjoy a Surly Beer and grab a bite to eat from a selection of local food trucks in the Loppet Village during the three-day City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival.

Time: Friday, 5–9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Loppet Village Area
Tickets: Free festival, food and beverage available for purchase


Saturday, February 4

The 8th Annual Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival
With craft beer from 120+ breweries, live music, gourmet meat and cheese showcase from Lunds and Byerlys, local food trucks, and a flurry of winter activities. Minnesota’s biggest outdoor beer festival is an annual tradition not to be missed. Held as an official Saint Paul Winter Carnival event, the Beer Dabbler is a true celebration of winter in Minnesota.

Time: 2:30-6:30 p.m.
Location: Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Tickets: 21+ event, to purchase tickets, visit:


Post-Luminary Party
Luminary Loppet participants displaying their glow stick can enjoy a live outdoor concert – with Surly beer and a selection of local food trucks.

Time: 7-10 p.m.
Location: Lagoon between Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles

Tickets: Concert/Party is free for Luminary Loppet participants displaying their glow stick, $10 for everyone else. Food and beverage available for purchase. More Information.


Additional programming will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information about The Great Northern and its partnering organizations, and to sign up for updates, visit and connect with The Great Northern on Facebook on Instagram @TheGreatNorthernFestival, and on Twitter @GreatNorthern.


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About The Great Northern
The Great Northern was created to champion winter and spotlight iconic Minnesota traditions, including the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival, the 131-year-old Saint Paul Winter Carnival, and the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. Its foundational winter experiences and new programming celebrate Minnesota's unique offerings and further enhance the state's reputation as a national destination for winter activity at its best. Presented by Target, The Great Northern is expected to draw more than 350,000 attendees during its first annual run from Thursday, January 26 – Sunday, February 5, 2017.