Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Lighting up the holidays in rural Faribault December 28, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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WHEN OUR KIDS were little, we made it a late December tradition to drive around Faribault viewing residential holiday light displays. It is a lovely, cherished family memory that connects to my childhood. Each December, my parents, five siblings and I packed into our Chevy and twisted through the Tangle Town neighborhood of Redwood Falls to see the lights.

Fast forward to 2015. My three kids are now adults, two of whom live out of state. Only one was home on Christmas Day. Three evenings before Christmas, my husband slid behind the wheel of our Chevy. I buckled into the front passenger seat. And the college son folded into the backseat. We were on our way to view a rural holiday light display about two miles east of Faribault.

 

Holiday lights, 6 trees and stars

 

Pulling into the driveway at Cathy Hoban and Pat Spence’s place, a sign advised us to tune into 103.1 FM and to turn on our parking lights. Before us, lights flashed as the magic unfolded.

 

Holiday lights, 15 1939 Ford pick-up truck

 

From towering Christmas trees to stars, Santa, snowmen, reindeer, candy canes, a Nativity and even a light-bedecked 1939 Ford pick-up truck, this dazzling music-synchronized show is wondrous.

 

Holiday lights, 17 circling the driveway

 

Randy crept the Chevy along at a snail’s pace, then stopped so we could take it all in. I stepped outside the car to snapshot the scene, hoping for a few good frames. He followed the circle drive then retraced his route.

 

Holiday lights, 14 star atop tree

 

We were mostly silent as we watched and listened, delighting in this gift from Cathy and Pat to the Faribault community. The couple loves Christmas. And it shows in the strings and strings and strings of colorful lights, in the effort it takes to put this all together, in the creativity and music.

 

Holiday lights, 21 reindeer

 

I couldn’t help but smile and feel propelled into the Christmas spirit while touring here. And I felt, too, the connection between past and present, in memories remembered and those being formed.

 

Holiday lights, 9 Nativity

 

How about you, do you drive around your community, or elsewhere, to view holiday light displays?

FYI: Cathy and Pat’s holiday light show is open from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. daily through the holidays. However, because of warm temps, which led to a muddy driveway, the display closed some evenings. That shouldn’t be a problem this week. The address: 4531 197th Street East, Faribaut.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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20 Responses to “Lighting up the holidays in rural Faribault”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    We like to look at the displays and lights as well but really did not make a special point of doing it this year. I love when there is music to coordinate with them—that is a lot of work and such a neat idea. I am glad there are folks like Cathy and Pat who do this to help others enjoy the season.

  2. Littlesundog Says:

    There are many towns around here that put on a holiday light display.One city in particular, just 20 miles away, has a grand light show in the city park. Each year the city gains new lights – some purchased, some donated. A bridge across a pond becomes a spectacular light-covered bridge, where adventurous couples even have their weddings performed (a little too cold for me – even in the south!). We used to drive through various lit events, but traffic was often slow getting into the parks/areas, and year after year it became such a large attraction that traffic became a real headache. Our town used to have their display in the city park, but after years of dwindling interest, the light setups were moved to the boulevard that runs through town. I think it’s a better place to display the lights, welcoming folks to and through our city.

  3. Jackie Says:

    Looks like an amazing place to stir up those Light-gazing memories. When the kids were little we used to throw on the winter gear and walk the street of our neighborhood, ooohing and ahhhhing at all the pretty lights.

  4. Sue Ready Says:

    Yes it was also a tradition in our family growing up with 8 children. We’d leave mom behind for last minute preparations and cruise around many neighborhoods enjoying all the Christmas lights.. But one year the Christmas light cruise backfired.Dad not realize many of Santa’s gifts were being stored in trunk and Mom was at home frantically wondering how to help Santa pack his sleigh.

  5. WOW!
    I love the car all lit up!
    Fab!
    xxxx hope you had a lovely Christmas, Audrey.

  6. Dan Traun Says:

    There is something magical about Christmas lights. Is it the season or is it the lights – or is the combination of the two?

  7. Wow what a stunning display that you managed to capture beautifully on photo. Thanks so much for sharing. Yes, we take our kids out to look at Christmas lights each year. I remember looking at Christmas lights as a kid. My home town put Christmas lights on a train and it looked as if it moved along the tracks.

  8. Marneymae Says:

    When I was a child, we’d drive around the neighborhood at Christmastime & take in all the holiday lights & festive decorations.
    that truck in your post is charming!


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