Snow and ice are the staples of every St. Paul Winter Carnival, but there will be no snow sculptures in Rice Park for this year. Festival organizers called off the popular snow-carving competition because of financial reasons.
Earlier this week, the Winter Carnival's Web site was still taking applications for the snow-sculpting contest, but on Thursday they had vanished from the home page.
Carnival executives said they canceled the event, because they could not find a sponsor. For years, the whimsical displays of dragons and elephants delighted spectators in the cold.
Contest co-chair Chris Danielson said the event cost more than $15,000 to produce. The cash-strapped carnival is also asking for the public to pay $122 for a block of ice. They say the money will go toward preserving another crowd favorite -- the ice sculptures.
The 12-day festival begins Jan. 23, 2008.