History of Buttons

Winter Carnival’s biggest fundraiser, Winter Carnival Buttons, has been around since the very first carnival! Buttons are a keepsake item from each year and help support future Winter Carnivals. Each year features a new design, unveiled to the public prior to the carnival. Through characteristics of the buttons have changed throughout the years, their mission remains the same: supporting the Winter Carnival.  

Did You Know?!

  • Two buttons were created for this a post World War II Winter Carnival, one for regular patronage and the other, specifically for members of the armed services to indicate veteran status. These items remain very collectible in terms of button memorabilia.
  • In 1951 the St Paul Dispatch and Pioneer Press begin the King Boreas Treasure Hunt as part of the Winter Carnival.
  • Recently, a 1887 Winter Carnival “ice palace medal” sold on Ebay for over $400! Winter Carnival memorabilia continues to be very collectible!

More Great Resources

Looking for more great history about the Saint Paul Winter Carnival? Visit the Minnesota Historical Society’s online database and the Ramsey County Historical Society’s online database and search, “Winter Carnival.”


Thank you and credit to the Minnesota Historical Society; the Ramsey County Historical Society; archives of the Pioneer Press and “Fire and Ice” by Moira Harris for helping contribute to this collection of history! Also, thank you to Winter Carnival’s own, Tom Barrett, for helping us digitize all this history!