Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Horse-drawn wagon rides honor Christmases past in Faribault December 14, 2015

Mike Fuchs guides his team or horses southbound on Central Avenue in historic downtown Faribault late Saturday afternoon.

Mike Fuchs guides his team of horses southbound on Central Avenue in historic downtown Faribault late Saturday afternoon.


BELLS JINGLED AS HORSES clopped along Faribault’s Central Avenue late Saturday afternoon pulling Santa’s Wagon, although Santa was missing.


Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 79 close-up


Traffic jammed and shoppers paused to watch.


Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 84 close-up of Mike & horses


And occasionally along the route, Mike Fuchs reined his team to a halt for exiting and boarding passengers.


Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 89 near Security Bank clock


The horses trod past aged buildings and the recently-refurbished Security Bank Building clock.


Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 92 red car following


Time slowed for drivers trailing Santa’s Wagon. But no horns honked.


Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 94 horses in motion


For a few hours on a December Saturday afternoon, time flashed back to yesteryear, to days when horse power truly meant horse power.


Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 101 by print shop


It is good to slow down, to travel at the pace of a horse’s stride, to listen to the repeat rhythm of hooves upon pavement, to hear sleigh bells ring.


Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 106 by State Bank


There is time in the haste of life, in the crazy busyness of the Christmas season, for a horse-drawn wagon ride.


Check back for more weekend holiday stories in and around Faribault, including a precious portrait you won’t want to miss tomorrow.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


22 Responses to “Horse-drawn wagon rides honor Christmases past in Faribault”

  1. Almost Iowa Says:

    Just think about how fun it would be to give rides on a horse drawn wagon. What a lucky guy!

  2. Dan Traun Says:

    This was a nice surprise to see when we arrived to peruse the shops.

  3. Nothing better than a horse drawn carriage to set the Spirit of the Season! We had a few carriages available here on Friday night – a little expensive to ride though – so just admired the horses and carriages all decked out and lighted. There was a bike ride going on too with all the bikes decked out in lights. Very Festive this past weekend! Happy Week – Enjoy 🙂

  4. Jackie Says:

    Did you have a ride?

  5. That looks like so much fun!

  6. Being around animals is such a calming thing and those horses are glorious!

  7. Gunny Says:

    Love the horses, Love the greenery, love the smell of fresh pine, love the festive atmosphere. but what I really love is the smell of fresh baking and the cold, clean snap of the fresh air!

  8. Beth Ann Says:

    Oh that is so beautiful. It is the perfect thing to get anyone in the mood for Christmas.

  9. Littlesundog Says:

    I don’t suppose you know what breed of horses these are? They’re beautiful and so regal! I once rode in one of the Budweiser wagons, pulled by a team of eight horses. Did I ever feel like a queen that day!! Back in the 80’s when banks still had money to blow on gala events, the institution I worked for rented a team out of St. Louis for a 4th of July parade in Seward, Nebraska. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the roar of the crowd as those horses took the corner coming onto main street. I was all goose bumps!! 😀

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