Minnesota’s Great Northern Festival Is Ready for Its Next Chapter

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When the mercury plunges and frost blankets the landscape, Minnesota transforms into a wonderland celebrating the icy embrace of winter. The Great Northern Festival, a testament to the region’s spirit, unfolds over two frosty weeks, from Jan. 25 to Feb. 4, 2024, spanning various locations across Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Beyond the biting cold lies a celebration of winter’s essence, packed with cultural events, outdoor activities, and a vibrant tapestry of experiences.

A Chilly Extravaganza

The festival isn’t just about braving the cold; it’s an invitation to revel in it. Imagine cross-country skiers gliding across frozen lakes, hockey enthusiasts battling it out on the ice, and folks gathering to have some fun. It’s a playground where snowshoeing, skiing, and ice skating are only the beginning.

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Engaging cultural facets like live music, comedy, film screenings, and art exhibitions pepper the landscape, catering to varied interests. Join the festivities at Silver Lake, engaging in a unique cosmic footgolf course, and glide across the snow on kicksleds, ending with some s’mores by the campfire. The ever-popular Sauna Village will also return to Malcolm Yards, but this time, it’s here to stay for an extended three-week sojourn, from Jan. 19 to Feb. 4.

Culinary Adventures in the Cold

Food enthusiasts are in for a treat or two. The “Seven Stories” dinner, helmed by a team of culinary luminaries including chef Sean Sherman, promises a unique communal dining experience amidst the winter chill.

Indulge yourself with “The Last Supper,” a meal curated by former White House chef Sam Kass, crafted from nearly extinct ingredients. For Latin and Mexican cuisine lovers, the K’óoben pop-up showcases delicious experiences through delightful dishes accompanied by live music. A feast you’ll never forget.

Enriching Cultural Engagements

The festival isn’t merely about embracing the cold; it’s about community. Live music performances by diverse artists like Broken Ice: Indigenous Sonic Salve from the North and The Minnesota Orchestra’s Sphinx Virtuosi are sure to provide exceptional backing.

Since 2021, the Great Northern Festival has transcended the chill, offering a kaleidoscope of experiences that celebrate the cold, raise awareness about climate change, and showcase the incredible talent of local and global artists. With more than 50 events, it’s an ode to winter’s embrace and an invitation to revel in its unique charm. Enjoy!

Wymara Villas: A Private Pool Paradise

Wymara Villas on Providenciales in Turks and Caicos offers a serene and secluded experience for travelers seeking a different luxury experience. Beyond the island’s popular resorts and beaches, Wymara Villas sits on top of the Turtle Tail peninsula and boasts unparalleled views of the iconic turquoise waters of the island.

The Villas

The Wymara Villas provides ultra-private accommodations with oceanfront infinity pools and overwater swim decks, perfect for a relaxing stay. The main Wymara Resort is only 15 minutes from the world’s best Grace Bay Beach, making it an ideal location for those wanting the best of both worlds. Wymara is expanding its private villa estate concept by adding a 130-foot-long ocean pool to its Sunset Cove Beach in March 2023, which has never been seen before in the Caribbean. The beach, with its freshly planted palm trees and shallow waters, is perfect for families, while the ocean pool provides a unique place for guests to swim and watch the sunset.

The Activities

Wymara offers a state-of-the-art sports club with basketball, pickleball, and tennis courts christened by NBA players. Couples seeking a private and romantic experience can opt for the one-bedroom pool villas with oversized outdoor terraces. Wymara plans to add five more multi-bedroom villas, bringing the total to 12 by mid-2024, along with a new restaurant and bar beside the villa beach. In the meantime, guests can enjoy gourmet food prepared by chefs in their villas or indulge in its highly-rated restaurant, Indigo.

A Good Night Out

On Saturday nights, Wymara’s beach barbecue features live music, bonfires, and tables set up under string lights and a starry sky. It may be challenging to give up the serenity of the villas and the luxurious private pool, but joining the festivities is worth it. Guests can spend the night swaying to the music with their toes buried in the famous powdery white sand, enjoying the perfect blend of luxury, tranquility, and fun.