Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From Faribault: I’m no gearhead, but I still love car shows July 20, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 12:06 PM
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A scene from the July 17 Faribault Car Cruise Night.

A scene from the July 17 Faribault Car Cruise Night.

IF YOU WOULD HAVE TOLD me a decade ago that I’d ever remotely be interested in a car show, I may have rolled my eyes and laughed. Back then, I considered car shows boring and mostly for guys. Like my husband, an automotive machinist. So he went alone, until the first time I decided to accompany him. With my camera.

Cars pop in cherry red.

Cars pop in cherry red against a white building.

My, how my attitude changed. When he mentions car shows these days, I grab my Canon and go.

I focus on the details, like plates and lights and curves and lines...

I focus on the details, like plates and lights and curves and lines…

When I began to view these displays of mostly vintage vehicles as gallery exhibits, I was hooked. Cars are works of art from the hood ornaments to the curves of fenders to the personalized license plates and more.

Art flames on the side of a truck.

Art flames on the side of a truck.

Randy studies motors and other practicalities of a vehicle. I study the artistic side. And I watch people. It works for us. He is beginning to see what I see. And I am learning more about motors, makes and models.

The turn-out was impressive despite the heat.

The turn-out Friday evening was impressive despite the heat.

A car show like the Faribault Car Cruise Night, held the third Friday evening of the month May – August, is about more than a collection of shiny vintage vehicles. It’s about creating a sense of community, about drawing folks into an historic downtown on a summer evening. It’s about connecting people and building relationships based on a common interest.

Peeling out around a corner of Central Avenue.

Peeling out around a corner of Central Avenue.

The State Bank of Faribault sign flashed 88 degrees Friday evening, ending a day that hung heavy with humidity. Yet, plenty of Car Cruise fans perused vehicles as local radio station, Power 96, cranked out classic rock tunes. The sinking sun angled around old brick buildings. A car squealed tires around a corner. A preschooler was hoisted onto a mini motor bike.

Adding to the artsy aspect of Car Cruise Night, was this colorful attire worn by Faribault

Adding to the artsy aspect of Car Cruise Night, was this colorful attire worn by three Somali women.

And my last photo, snapped as I ambled with my husband toward our 2003 Chevy Impala—not the 64 Chevy he coveted because he once owned one—was a trio of Somali women. They weren’t there to view the vehicles, but simply walking through downtown. But for me, from my perspective, they were part of Faribault Car Cruise Night, their colorful garb weaving more art into this temporary Central Avenue Gallery exhibit.

A 1964 Chevy.

A 1964 Chevy.

BONUS PHOTOS:

The Grain Belt powered mini bike.

The Grain Belt powered mini bike.

Some folks even bring their dogs to the car show.

Some folks even bring their dogs to the car show.

A vehicle sports stickers for area car cruises.

A vehicle sports stickers for area car cruises.

FYI: Check back tomorrow for more images from the July 17 Faribault Car Cruise Night. The next, and final, cruise event is from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday, August 21.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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10 Responses to “From Faribault: I’m no gearhead, but I still love car shows”

  1. Littlesundog Says:

    It’s hard to beat the 60’s Chevy Super Sport models. My folks owned a couple of them… wish I had one now!

  2. Jackie Says:

    I shot of the 64 Chevy is pretty awesome! Isn’t it fun to have hobbies that you can do together even if they are for different reasons 🙂

  3. hotlyspiced Says:

    I would bring my dog too! This sort of a thing isn’t on my ‘must-do’ list but my husband is like yours and a real enthusiast. I go along because he doesn’t want to go alone and while I groan all the way there, once we’ve arrived and I see the cars, I do start to enjoy myself xx

  4. Sue Ready Says:

    As always your words… It’s about creating a sense of community, about drawing folks into an historic downtown on a summer evening. It’s about connecting people and building relationships based on a common interest.
    and photos capture beautifully a moment in time so even a non-car lover/ non gearhead can appreciate the community event.

  5. That can be one expensive hobby..


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