Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Cruisin’ on Central on a Friday night in Faribault May 22, 2012

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Looking south on Central Avenue during the Faribault Car Cruise Night on Friday.

BY THE TIME my husband and I arrived at the first Faribault Car Cruise Night of the season around 9 p.m. Friday, the last remnants of daylight were morphing into a beautiful inky blue sky of darkness.

Illuminated business signs and lighted storefront windows and the flickering motion of a big screen television in a second floor apartment and the spotlight of streetlights provided enough light to view the few remaining vehicles and to snap a few photos.

Music rocked the 400 and 500 blocks of Central Avenue, and beyond, as we wandered.

Hanging out along Central Avenue during Faribault Car Cruise Night.

Love the colors: the green against blue.

While we’d missed most of the cars and most of the crowd and the poker walk, I didn’t particularly care. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate events like this and checking out all the classic cars and trucks. But on this night, my focus was on the deep, rich shades of that inky blue sky.

The dreamsicle car, Peachy, a 1955 Chevy.

Seriously, do you not love that peachy pastel Chevy contrasting with the blue sky?

The contrast of light and dark, of vivid lime green and creamy dreamsicle orange against that bold blue spoke to the artist in me.

Then, as I shot my final photos, headlights shone like beacons and red taillights blurred as, one by one, the last of the vintage antique and collectible cars slipped into the dark of a balmy and windy evening that felt more like summer than spring in Minnesota.

In a blur of taillights, a vintage car exits Central Avenue.

FYI: Faribault Car Cruise Night is held from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on the third Friday of the month, May – September, in the 400 and 500 blocks of Central Avenue in historic downtown Faribault. I’d advise arriving well before 9 p.m. if you’re more interested in the vehicles than in the darkening sky.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling