Winter welcomes you to Stillwater’s warm historic district glimmering with ambiance and seasonal charm. In a year when we all need a little cheer, the community has come together to add lots of twinkle to downtown Stillwater as well as winter events!
The entire mile of Main Street’s shopping and dining district is lined with snowflakes and rooftop lights while a winter wonderland pedestrian area in the heart of downtown puts on an LED light show synchronized to music nightly. All ages can enjoy this FREE event now through March!
Discover the colorful light tunnel leading you to the historic lift bridge walking trail who’s south-facing outline is lit with Hollywood-style lights for the first time in history. Several storefronts are festive for the holidays, too and the St. Croix River’s promenade is an inviting place to find peace this season with garland and white light wrapped lamp posts.
Poster with Map
See the list of potential events and map with snowflakes indicating decorated areas below. All decorations are complete as of 12/20; Ice Palace Maze opened 1/22 and the ice-skating rink opened 1/25. A few more details to come – more ice sculptures and a change in lights for Valentine’s Day! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Email and we’ll announce when the decorations and events are finalized!
Skaters are invited to experience the unique river rink setting located in downtown Stillwater. Water Street Inn‘s Winter River Rink creates a fun, winter experience for visitors of all ages. Open daily 8am-10pm unless local practices or events – see schedule here.
Wintertime in Stillwater holiday lights UPDATES:
Step 1: Main Street Snowflakes and rooftop architecture lining. On from dusk until dawn. COMPLETE! 12/5
Step 2: Christmas Tree in Lowell Park is decorated and lit! 12/5
Step 3: Chestnut Street pedestrian winter wonderland area LED light show set to music. COMPLETE! Enjoy nightly 5-10pm. Feel the beat on Chestnut Street! 12/5
Step 4: Line the southern facing side of the Historic Lift bridge with magnificent Hollywood style lights. DONE! Admire nightly 5-10pm as you walk from Minnesota to Wisconsin over the St. Croix River.
Step 5: Install trees with holiday lights along Main Street sidewalks. Completed 12/8!
Step 6: Light tunnel and second larger 33′ LED Christmas tree, lights wrapped around light poles on Lift Bridge concourse of Chestnut Street and heaters/bonfire, more picnic tables for to-go dining – finished Saturday 12/12!
Step 7: Wrap the street lamp poles with garland and lights from the pedestrian plaza leading to the St. Croix River continuing along the riverwalk north of the historic lift bridge downtown Stillwater. Ice sculptures with the Wintertime in Stillwater logo also installed within the wonderland LED light show area on Chestnut Street. 12/16/20
Step 8: Lift bridge concourse lamp post lights syncronized with the rest of the LED light show. All DECOR IS COMPLETE!! 12/20/20
More event details to come in January with colder weather….stay tuned! Enjoy this experience as our gift to you! We are excited to welcome you to this FREE nightly attraction this holiday season and throughout the winter – up through March!
Since the updated pandemic numbers and new State of Minnesota 7-week shutdown, a few of our Wintertime in Stillwater ideas from our original press release below are not able to happen or are on pause. As of 12/3/2020 the list on the poster above is our hopeful reality of COVID-friendly outdoor fun you can still enjoy downtown Stillwater. As we get details for the events, they will be added to our calendar. We’ll see what the future holds for events in January and February but as of now we envision all to have been designed to fit within the coronavirus parameters as they are outdoors.
Food & Drink
Note that restaurants and bars are only available for take-out as indoor dining is closed until January 11th due to MN State COVID precautions. Up to 5 people can still enter to pick up to-go orders, so that means you an grab a coffee, hot chocolate, or dinner before you stroll the lights! Find a picnic table in the park to safely enjoy. As of December 19th, outdoor dining will be allowed at 50% capacity, 4 people per table, seated eating/drinking only.
The City Council approved a motion to allow alcohol consumption in Lowell Park (bottle of wine to-go, six-pack of beer to-go, cocktail mixer to-go, etc.). NOTE: The approved motion does not allow open container on streets, sidewalks, parking lots, plazas, etc. in downtown…in other words, it’s illegal to have open container of alcohol outside of Lowell Park (riverfront grassy area).
Be sure to check hours as coffee shops may close by dark, so grab your warm cup before you walk the lights.
- Water Street Inn/Charlie’s Irish Pub Walk-Up window on the riverside of the hotel, enclosed patio, or private dining reservations in hotel rooms with views of the lights.
- Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop Walk-Up window on Chestnut St. within LED lights area
- Mai Little Cakes
- Greenbridge Coffee Shop
- The Daily Grind
- River Market Co-Op
- MADE Coffee in Lora Hotel by base of historic Main Street Stairs
- Mon Petit Cheri
- Matchstick at Hotel Crosby offers outdoor dining
Thank you Sponsors!
$186,550 donated so far. Contribute to this free attraction on our Go Fund Me page.
|City of Stillwater||Main Street & Lift Bridge Lights|
|Cub Foods||Chestnut plaza lights & music & speakers|
|T-Mobile||Ice Sculpture, Light Tunnel, Fire & Ice Hot Air Balloon Event|
|Mark Lambert, Stillwater Commons||Zephyr Theatre Ice Palace, Winterfest, Lights|
|Water Street Inn||Ice Rink|
|Student Assurance Services||Lights|
|Hotel Crosby||Tunnel of Lights|
|Mainstreet Independent Business Association||Lights on Main Street & Bridge|
|Michelle Stober, Senior Care Solutions||Fire & Ice event with hot air balloons|
|Brian Posch, Posch Builders||Pond Hockey Ice Rinks|
|Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce||Fire & Ice Event|
|Discover Stillwater||Carolers on the Corners, Carriage Rides, Elves. Volunteer: Zephyr Theatre|
|Eckberg Lammers Law Firm||Plaza Lights|
|Jim Herbert, Mortgages Unlimited||Pond Hockey|
|RBC Wealth Management||Pedestrian Plaza|
|Kelli and Paul Kaufer, |
Smith & Trade Merchantile
|Main Street Pots with lit trees|
|Action Rental||Lift Equipment for Lights|
|Anne Anderson, Edina Realty||Large flower pots with trees and lights|
|First State Bank||Fat Bike Rally, Volunteer: Sara Jespersen|
|John Koch, Portside & River Exchange Building||ice skating rink|
|Mike and Joni Polehna||Plaza Lights, Christmas tree|
|Tom and Tracey Weidner||Plaza Lights|
|Chuck Dougherty, Water Street Inn||provided meeting venue for committee|
|Virginia & Dell Zehm||Lights|
|Paul Larson, Alchemy Sound and Vision and Quickfire Pizza||Chestnut Street light show labor and materials|
|Sara Jespersen, The Lumberjack||Event planning|
|Taylor Electric||Boom Lift for Lights|
|Summer Tuesdays||Non-Profit Entity for Go Fund Me|
|JG Hause Construction||Christmas Tree|
|O’Neill Electric||Stillwater Lights tunnel|
|Greg Gardner||Permission to use buildings for light show|
|Cory & Naashom Buettner, Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop||gift boxes under tree, firepits, wood and heaters on chestnut St|
|MN DOT||Permission to light Lift Bridge|
|Jon Whitcomb, Metro East Commercial||Go Fund Me General Fund|
|Michael Russ||Go Fund Me General Fund|
|Doug Menikheim||Go Fund Me General Fund|
|Jason Augustine||Go Fund Me General Fund|
|Jennifer Eggers||Go Fund Me General Fund|
|Molly & Reggie Krakowski||Go Fund Me General Fund|
Wintertime in Stillwater logo design by Grain Studio & Discover Stillwater
Main Street Lighting, Lift Bridge & Pedestrian Plaza Area Installed by Kevin Polski of Holiday Lighting & Design
Chestnut Plaza LED Light Show Installed by Alchemy Sound & Vision
Ice Sculptures created by Ice Occasions Midwest
City of Stillwater (Mayor Ted Kozlowski, Council Members Mike Polhena & Dave Junker, Shawn Sanders: Public Works, Tom McCarty: City Administrator) George Dierberger: Facilitator, Robin Anthony: Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, Christie Rosckes: Discover Stillwater Tourism Bureau, Chuck Dougherty: Water Street Inn, Sara Jespersen: The Lumberjack Axe Throwing Bar, Paul Larson: Quickfire Pizza, John Koch: Portside, Cory Buettner: Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop, Calyssa Hall & Chico Rouse: Stillwater Zephyr Theatre, Kelli & Paul Kaufer: Smith & Trade Merchantile, Richard McDonough: RM Realty, Brad Glynn: Lift Bridge Brewery, Judd Sather: JX Event Center, Jim Herbert: Mortgages Unlimited
- Channel 5 KSTP TV 11/22/20: “Stillwater Plans to Light Up Main Street and Historic Lift Bridge This Holiday Season“
- Pioneer Press 11/23/20: “Stillwater Plans to Light Up Lift Bridge & Main Street This Holiday Season.”
- WCCO Channel 4 TV 11/28/20: Small Business Saturday & Future Wintertime in Stillwater
- Star Tribune 12/2/20: “With Rink, Ice Maze, Ice-Cream Social, Stillwater Hopes to Light Up Pandemic Winter.”
- Pioneer Press 12/4/20: “Lift Bridge Gets Decked Out“
- KSPT Channel 5 12/5/20: “Downtown Stillwater, Lift Bridge Lit Up for The Holidays“
- Lowdown 12/14/20: “Tis the Season: Holiday Traditions Continue Through Pandemic“
- Bring Me the News 12/21/20: “Stillwater Celebrates Winter with month-long Light Display, Events“
- Pioneer Press 1/13/21: “Stillwater is about to get even cooler with a massive Ice Maze”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2021
PHOTOS (use this link for social as well): https://www.discoverstillwater.com/coming-soon-wintertime-in-stillwater/ Use any images from this page with photo credit to DiscoverStillwater.com and photographer. We’ll have more images after ice maze and ice rink open this weekend.
Stillwater’s New Ice Features Elevate the Month of Love
January 19th, 2020 – Wintertime in Stillwater has always been a romantic destination with the cozy places to stay, scenic valley views, and delicious culinary choices. This year, the ambiance is turned up a notch with new ice features opening this weekend – a riverside ice skating rink and an Ice Palace Maze. The Water Street Inn’s Winter River Rink will be open for free skating daily 8am-10pm whenever local figure skating or curling team practices aren’t scheduled. Bring your own skates to enjoy the glide with a view as it is set in the riverfront Lowell Park next to the St. Croix River and Historic Lift Bridge. Guests staying at the Water Street Inn can admire the scene from their balconies or glass-enclosed restaurant patio.
Wear your warmest mittens as you walk through the new Ice Palace Maze set to open on Friday, January 22nd. This magical maze said to be the largest maze of its kind in the USA is presented by the Stillwater Zephyr Theatre and sponsored by Explore Minnesota. Constructed with over 1500 ice blocks and measuring in at 114’ x 72’ feet, an outdoor maze makes for a safe family activity. The 8′ high perimeter wall surrounds and keeps secret the 1/2 mile of twisty passages inside with an optional 36’ ice slide at the end. Visitors are limited to 100 people per hour, mask required, and time-slot tickets are available to purchase online now. Visitors will also enjoy capturing photos in front of the color changing lit Ice Palace walls, stop by the ice-bar, view ice sculptures, make s’mores and perhaps get a visit from Frozen’s Elsa. Hourly tickets are on sale now at $15 per person for adults, $10 ages 5-12 and are available Tuesday-Friday 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM and Saturday-Sunday 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM: www.icepalacemaze.com.
Stillwater welcomes couples and families to a warm historic district glimmering with ambiance and seasonal charm. The free lights and decorations for the new Wintertime in Stillwater seasonal event are up for your enjoyment nightly 5-10pm through March. In a year when we all need a little cheer, the community has come together to add lots of twinkle to downtown Stillwater. In the heart of downtown, the Chestnut Street pedestrian area is festive with an LED lightshow with a colorful tunnel of lights all synchronized to music. Look for a change of hue in February when a new heart-shaped feature and red lights may change the scene a bit.
Stillwater’s peaceful riverwalk with garland and light-wrapped lamp posts is a great place for a quiet moment together. The entire mile of the Main Street shopping and dining district’s architecture is trimmed with lights, snowflakes and festive storefronts. The historic lift bridge is a sight to see from afar with Hollywood-style lights outlining its unique design. Up close, this bridge which was recently converted to a pedestrian and bike trail is the perfect setting for a romantic stroll.
“There are two words we hear often in describing our destination, we “Love” Stillwater and it feels like a “Hallmark” town. We think we lived up to this image this winter for sure.” Heidi Rosebud, Discover Stillwater Board Member & owner Just for Me Spa.
Visitors to the Wintertime lights can enjoy hot cocoa or drinks to-go from the two walk-up windows for service at Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop and Charlie’s Irish Pub at Water Street Inn or make reservations for dinner at 20+ restaurants within walking distance downtown now open for indoor dining at 50% capacity and adhering to all COVID MN guidelines.
The Wintertime in Stillwater celebration also includes a Fat Bike Rally January 23-24 which is self-paced and contactless with virtual swag bag and cash prizes. Registration is still available. Coming up the following weekend Friday, January 29- Sunday, January 31st is the Fire & Ice Winter Social featuring a moonglow experiential spectacle of fire with hot air balloons, beer tent, music and the 70-year-old historic tradition of an ice cream social by the river Saturday, January 30. The cost for this outdoor event is free but does require a reservation at www.greaterstillwaterchamber.com. Coming up in February look for more information on the Frozen Flannel Bonspiel curling tournament Saturday, February 13th, Frozen Bocce Ball February 27th, and Winterfest February 25-28th. Events will be posted on DiscoverStillwater.com/events. All CDC, DLI, and DHS requirements will be followed around COVID-19 including a preparedness plan.
Wintertime in Stillwater is a collaborative effort of the City of Stillwater, Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, Discover Stillwater Tourism Bureau, and local businesses meant to be the start of something for more than just this year. Discover the beauty and fun vibe in all seasons; in fact, Stillwater was just listed in The 25 Coolest American Towns to visit in 2021 by the editorial team at Matador Network, the world’s largest independent travel media website.
As Valentine’s weekend approaches, visitors should plan ahead by making dinner reservations and booking a special time away with a stay at many unique lodging properties from carriage house suites to riverside balconies to Main Street lofts to historic hotels. With over 600 rooms to choose from, guests can find their style but book early as this popular date destination fills up quickly. The surrounding outdoor scene is pretty in the winter with nearby Afton Alps ski resort or William O’Brian State Park for cross-country skiing and miles of trails to walk downtown Stillwater. Couples can enjoy indoor activities together as well with reservations at Kari’s Create & Paint Studio, Stillwater Escape Company, Cooks of Crocus Hill, or The Lumberjack Axe Throwing. Enjoy live music again at downtown pubs or relaxing massage or Himalayan salt cave experience at Just for Me Spa.
For more information about all Wintertime events, places to stay, shop or dine, visit www.DiscoverStillwater.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2020
Winter welcomes you to Stillwater’s warm historic district glimmering with ambiance and seasonal charm. The lights and decorations for the new Wintertime in Stillwater seasonal event are completed and ready for you to enjoy with your family. Holiday spirit is so bright downtown Stillwater right now as all ages enjoy this FREE attraction available to view nightly 5-10pm through March.
In a year when we all need a little cheer, the community has come together to add lots of twinkle to downtown Stillwater. In the heart of downtown, the Chestnut Street pedestrian area is festive with an LED lightshow, a colorful tunnel of lights, and two tall trees all synchronized to music. Stillwater’s riverfront Lowell Park hosts the annual Christmas Tree as well as a peaceful riverwalk with garland and light-wrapped lamp posts. The entire mile of the Main Street shopping and dining district’s architecture is trimmed with lights, snowflakes and festive storefronts. The historic lift bridge is a sight to see from afar with Hollywood-style lights outlining its unique design. Up close, this bridge which was recently converted to a pedestrian and bike trail is the perfect setting for a romantic stroll.
“Children are dancing and everyone is feeling joy, so our hearts are full to see such cheer by many this year,” Stillwater City Council Member Mike Polehna.
Visitors can enjoy warm hot cocoa or drinks to-go in the riverfront park as there are a few walk-up windows for service, and several public picnic tables within the lights display for you to enjoy lunch or dinner to-go from 20+ restaurants within walking distance downtown.
Looking ahead, the committee is hopeful that as the weather gets colder, they can continue with several outdoor winter events such as an ice-skating rink, fat tire bike rally, fire & ice event with hot air balloons and the historic ice cream social by the river tradition as well as curling, hockey, and frozen bocce ball tournaments. The winter wonderland LED lights show area will also evolve as overhead snowflake lights may become hearts for Valentine’s Day and Shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day. Events will be posted on DiscoverStillwater.com/events. All CDC and DHS requirements will be followed around COVID-19.
Wintertime in Stillwater is a collaborative effort of the City of Stillwater, Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, Discover Stillwater Tourism Bureau, and local businesses meant to be the start of something for more than just this year.
Several sponsors and volunteers made this possible starting with the use of the 4th of July fireworks money from the City of Stillwater, followed by major support from Cub Foods, T-Mobile, Mark Lambert of Stillwater Commons, Student Assurance Services, Hotel Crosby, Mainstreet Independent Business Association, Michelle Stober of Senior Care Solutions, Posch Builders, and more sponsors… Eckberg Lammers Law Firm | Jim Herbert, Mortgages Unlimited |RBC Wealth Management | Kelli and Paul Kaufer, Smith & Trade Merchantile | Action Rental | Anne Anderson, Edina Realty| First State Bank | John Koch, Portside | Mike and Joni Polehna | Tom and Tracey Weidner | Chuck Dougherty, Water Street Inn | Virginia & Dell Zehm | Paul Larson, Alchemy Sound and Vision/Quickfire Pizza | Sara Jespersen, The Lumberjack | Taylor Electric | Summer Tuesdays | JG Hause Construction | O’Neill Electric | Cory & Naashom Buettner, Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop | MN DOT | Jon Whitcomb, Metro East Commercial | Michael Russ | Doug Menikheim | Jason Augustine | Jennifer Eggers | Molly & Reggie Krakowski
City of Stillwater Mayor Ted Kozlowski, Council Members Mike Polehna & Dave Junker, Shawn Sanders: Public Works, Tom McCarty: City Administrator, George Dierberger: Facilitator, Robin Anthony: Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, Christie Rosckes: Discover Stillwater Tourism Bureau, Chuck Dougherty: Water Street Inn, Sara Jespersen: The Lumberjack Axe Throwing Bar, Paul Larson: Quickfire Pizza, John Koch: Portside, Cory Buettner: Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop, Calyssa Hall & Chico Rouse: Stillwater Zephyr Theatre, Kelli & Paul Kaufer: Smith & Trade Merchantile, Richard McDonough: RM Realty, Brad Glynn: Lift Bridge Brewery, Judd Sather: JX Event Center, Jim Herbert: Mortgages Unlimited
Wintertime in Stillwater logo design by Grain Studio | Main Street Lighting, Lift Bridge & Pedestrian Plaza Area Installed by Kevin Polska of Holiday Lighting & Design | Chestnut Plaza LED Light Show Installed by Alchemy Sound & Vision| Ice Sculptures created by Ice Occasions Midwest
Full list, more photos and information at www.discoverstillwater.com/coming-soon-wintertime-in-stillwater/.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2020
Contact: Stacie Jensen, Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce
651-439-4001; Email Stacie
For the past six weeks, the City of Stillwater, Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, Discover Stillwater Tourism Bureau, and local businesses have been meeting and collaborating to assist the local businesses and downtown Main Street during this pandemic and beyond. COVID-19 has brought on huge economic challenges within our business community and we know that the wintertime adds additional challenges.
The City of Stillwater has a beautiful historic downtown Main Street, and with more wintertime additions and holiday lights, downtown Stillwater will become more of a year-round destination for tourists and the local community. Due to the pandemic, the City of Stillwater elected not to conduct their local fireworks on the 4th of July and decided to re-direct those funds to start lighting up Main Street. In addition, the City has obtained permission from MNDot to light up the south side of the historic lift bridge (that is a BIG deal!!). Building owners have signed a three-year release for the building lights initiative.
Starting in December, the traditional experiences will continue outdoors including Hometown for the Holidays, carriage rides, carolers, Winterfest and the lighting of the Main Street Christmas Tree. Some new outside experiences being considered: A Fat Tire Rally, a downtown ice-skating rink, Fire & Ice Hot Air Balloons, Ice Cream Social, European Market, a mini Ice Castle with a maze inside, outdoor firepits, hockey and boot hockey games and more. You can find a full event calendar at Discover Stillwater.
In true Stillwater community fashion, some local businesses have donated funds to light up the new Chestnut Plaza area and the Pedestrian Plaza. There has also been a GoFundMe Page set up for others to donate to this collaborative campaign, Wintertime in Stillwater.
“This has been a long time coming,” stated Mayor Kozlowski. “We are more than excited to do what we can during this pandemic to help our business community and provide some experiences and beauty to our town in the Wintertime,” Kozlowski said.
This has been a positive opportunity to see partners of local government, organizations, and businesses come together for the greater good of our community. Visit greaterstillwaterchamber.com and DiscoverStillwater.com/events for ongoing details! All CDC and DHS requirements will be followed around COVID-19.