She’s stunning with sparkles and ribbons and Christmas reds and greens befitting any holiday party.
Honestly, I love the look and feel of my downtown. Even without the glitz and glamour of the holiday season, Faribault shines. The old brick buildings, the comforting small-town vibe, the ease of parking, the slow pace and the friendliness of shopkeepers appeal to me.
I am always surprised when locals fail to appreciate downtown. How can you not value this treasure of a business district with arched windows, decorative trim and more on vintage buildings that impart an historic and homey feel to our town? Perhaps because I didn’t grow up here, I can truly see the beauty that native residents often overlook.
I am always surprised, too, that Faribault hasn’t been discovered—like Red Wing or Stillwater or Wabasha or neighboring Northfield—as a destination city. The potential exists to draw tourists here into our specialty shops and arts scene. It’s not for a lack of effort, but…we’re not there yet.
First, we need to sell our own residents on the value of Central Avenue, our Main Street. Do we truly realize how fortunate we are to have a solid, core downtown like ours with a deep history and an inviting character?
Mega malls and strip malls and Big Box retailers—and I shop at those places, too—have nothing on Main Street.
Yes, I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, meaning my perspective evolves from memories of shopping in a downtown, not a mall.
When I stroll along Central Avenue in Faribault, nostalgia accompanies me. And she’s a mighty fine friend to walk with, especially during the holiday season.
IF YOU’VE NEVER been to Faribault, consider a trip here. We’re located along Interstate 35, just an hour south of Minneapolis. You’ll find antique, craft, candy, cheese and many other specialty shops and businesses, hometown eateries, as well as an arts center, along Central Avenue. If you have a specific question about Faribault, ask and I’ll answer.
LOCALS, if you haven’t been downtown in awhile, I’d encourage you to park your vehicle, walk and appreciate your town. She’s all glammed up right now and a wonder to behold.
READERS, PLEASE CHECK back on Thursday for more Central Avenue holiday-themed images.
© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling