Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Six-plus great reasons to visit Faribault this weekend August 6, 2015

WHETHER YOU LOVE pets, BBQ, art and a whole lot more, you will find it all in Faribault during the next four days. It’s as if my Southern Minnesota community has been saving a summer’s worth of activities for one weekend plus Thursday.

These students were hammering and chiseling away during a class, making quite a racket in the ice arena/fest site.

These students were hammering and chiseling away during a class, making quite a racket in the ice arena/fest site during the 2012 festival. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2012.

Events kick off Thursday evening with Minnesota’s annual woodcarving festival, Carv-Fest, opening in the Faribault Ice Arena at North Alexander Park. Expert woodcarvers teach classes and the general public is free to wander and observe. Faribault is home to noted woodcarvers from the Whillock family (who organize this event) and Marv Kaisersatt. The fest runs Thursday – Saturday.

Lots of dogs and that 1939 date on the right side of the mural.

A section of the Pet Parade mural on the bandshell in Faribault’s Central Park. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Faribault hosts its 79th annual Pet Parade. The “Into the Jungle” theme promises plenty of creative entries. The cuteness factor rules here.

As dusk settled, volunteers begin lighting the luminaries which stretched and wound around the Rice County Fairgrounds.

As dusk settled, volunteers begin lighting the luminaries which wound around the Rice County Fairgrounds during the 2012 Relay for Life.

Friday brings the 23rd annual Relay for Life of Rice County. Several times I’ve attended this gathering to honor and remember those who have faced cancer and to raise monies and awareness. Most impressive are the honorary luminaries circling the fairgrounds. Activities begin at 4 p.m. and continue late into the evening with closing events the next morning.

Information about the Pregnancy Options LifeCare Center was available at the concert.

The Center promotes life-affirming solutions for women. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

Saturday promises to be a jam-packed day in Faribault beginning with the Run Baby Run! 10K, 5K and kids run sponsored by the Pregnancy Options LifeCare Center in support of life. Registration runs from 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. at Roosevelt Elementary School.

Bikers and others gather for a post hospice ride party at Faribault Harley-Davidson.

Bikers and others gather for a post hospice ride party at Faribault Harley-Davidson in 2012.

Across town The Ride for Hospice at Faribault Harley-Davidson begins with bikes and cars leaving mid-morning. From noon to 2 p.m., there will be food, music and prizes at the Harley shop.

With the weather about as good as it gets on a summer day, attendance was high at the Blue Collar BBQ & Arts Fest.

A street scene from the 2012 Blue Collar BBQ & Arts Fest.

Meanwhile, in the heart of historic downtown Faribault, art and food lovers will gather for the annual Blue Collar BBQ & Arts Fest from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. There’s a BBQ competition, plenty of food vendors, an art/market fair, recycled art sale, music, kids’ activities, washer tournament and beer garden. The fest raises monies for the Paradise Center for the Arts and the Faribault Mural Society.

And if that isn’t enough. Bethlehem Academy, the Catholic school in town, chose this weekend to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

Crafty signage suspended high in a window at The Crafty Maven hints at the crafty goodness you will find inside this historic building at

Crafty signage suspended high in a window at The Crafty Maven hints at the crafty goodness you will find inside this historic building. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

Aside from all the organized activities, Faribault is worth a visit for its historic downtown with quaint shops. Among my favorite is The Crafty Maven which is across the street from a new bakery, Ginger Spice Bakery, 209 Central Avenue. The bakery opens its doors on Friday.

An overview of the Peterson building which houses architectural salvage and antiques, left, with the brewery on the left.

F-Town Brewing, Faribault’s new craft brewery. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

And for you beer lovers, check out F-Town Brewing.

Things are happening in Faribault. I just wish everything wasn’t on the same weekend.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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18 Responses to “Six-plus great reasons to visit Faribault this weekend”

  1. Hi Audrey. There’s one more event! The Pregnancy Options Center is holding a first annual 10K, 5K, and Kids run at 8:15 on Saturday, starting at Roosevelt Elementary School. The run will highlight historic areas on the east side of Faribault. Kids run free and there will also be bouncy houses and other activities for them. http://www.pregnancyoptionsfbo.org/#!run-baby-run-race/c1eup

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    And that is how it always seems to be—-everything overlaps and you have to pick and choose what to attend but at least there are a lot of options so it will bring in a lot of people, right? Some positively wonderful things to do! Thanks for sharing.

  3. This event has something for everyone – creativity, pets, exercise, eating, good brews, etc. Here’s to having a great turnout this weekend! Happy Kicking Off the Weekend Early Today – Enjoy 🙂

  4. Jackie Says:

    Sounds like a fun little weekend full of activities galore 🙂

  5. Dan Traun Says:

    There is no excuse to be bored this time of year. I would love to catch the Blue Collar BBQ & Arts Fest. Love love love BBQ 🙂 Cyndie and I will be in Northern Wisconsin at BBQ/Bean Bag Toss Tournament this weekend though.

  6. Sounds like a great time.

  7. Dee bjork Says:

    Thanks Audrey. The Crafty Maven is the only shop in town carrying Vesta!

    • You are welcome, Dee.

      Readers, Dee is referencing my hometown of Vesta, MN. Last week when I was in the shop, I found wonderful Minnesota coasters crafted by Dee and her assistant, Michelle. They cut apart Minnesota road maps for the project. And I found a coaster with Vesta on it. Yes, it’s now mine, mine, mine. Thank you Dee, Beth and Michelle for being such an important part of downtown Faribault.

  8. Sue Ready Says:

    You make a wonderful PR for your community. Hope the Chamber got wind of this post. Looks like a many fun events for all.

    • We had an out-of-town family reunion yesterday so were, sadly, unable to attend the events. However, when we arrived home in the evening, we went down to the Blue Collar BBQ & Arts Fest for beer from F-Town Brewing Company and fantastic Southern Pit BBQ brisket from Smokin O’s. It was out of this world delicious.


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