Our Manifesto

We believe in being out in it. The cold. The ice. The snow. The flurries and drifts and whiteouts and whatnot — all of it. We believe in layering up. Bundling up. Wearing big coats, big boots and even bigger hats. We believe in ice skates, snow skis and snowshoes. We believe in seeing our breath, subzero temps and icicles as big as hockey sticks. We believe in sitting by the fire and raising a glass of something warm to wintry mixes and winter advisories and winter storm warnings. To snowmen and snow forts and snowmobile suits. We believe in spending winter in winter. We believe in this place we live. We embrace it. We celebrate it. It’s what we do. It’s what we’ve always done.

Raise a mitten if you’re in.

Our Mission

The Great Northern celebrates winter in Minneapolis and Saint Paul by promoting a positive mindset and healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle. We bring together legacy festivals and original programming, all highlighting Minnesota at its wintry best with an accessible, family-friendly focus.

Founding Partners


Eric Dayton

Co-Founder and CEO

Askov Finalyson

Carson Kipfer


U.S. Pond Hockey Championships

John Munger

Executive Director

The Loppet Foundation

Deb Schaber

President and CEO

Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation

Community Partners