Aged buildings, most restored, define Faribault’s Central Avenue.
FRIDAY EVENING, AS I STROLLED along the 200 and 300 blocks of Central Avenue, I considered how lovely the downtown in this place I call home.
My husband and I would love an old pick-up like this, restored, of course.
Perhaps it was the slant of sunlight upon historic buildings or the conversations with friends or this gathering of car enthusiasts which prompted such a contemplative mood. It really doesn’t matter.
A beautiful historic setting.
What matters is that events like Car Cruise Night bring people together on a beautiful summer evening in the heart of an equally beautiful downtown. Faribault’s Central Avenue, with its historic buildings rising up, provides a lovely backdrop for the vintage and other vehicles showcased on the third Friday evening of the month, May through September.
The addition of food trucks this year and downtown eateries vending outdoors encourages folks to linger and to talk, to be neighborly, to claim community pride.
Consider the Plymouth ship emblem. Thoughts of immigrants, past and present, filtered through my mind. The emblem is, in many ways, symbolic of downtown Faribault. Many of our town’s newest immigrants live above businesses along Central Avenue. In the background is the historic marquee of the Paradise Center for the Arts.
I appreciated signage both in English and Spanish.
American pride inside a collector car.
We are a diverse community. As diverse as the vehicles angled to curbs on Car Cruise Night. I’m sensing more and more that we are growing more welcoming of one another. And that is a good thing.
One of Faribault’s newest businesses, Bluebird Cakery, held a cupcake eating contest. I missed it as I was unaware of the event.
It’s a good thing, too, that Faribault seems to be working harder to bring people into the heart of downtown. We’re no Stillwater or Red Wing or Wabasha, all southern Minnesota communities that draw lots of visitors to their historic downtowns. But we’re moving that direction—one Car Cruise Night, one brewery, one cupcake shop, one coffee and chocolate shop, one cheese shop, one arts center, one shoe store, one BBQ and arts fest…at a time.
I love love love this car. The color and style.
For awhile I watched this free-spirited little guy follow the double center lines along Central. Oh, to find joy in such a simple activity.
Details matter when you’re a car collector. This Belvedere manual was lying on the dash.
I was naturally drawn to this car because, as a teen, my bedroom was painted lime green. I still love that vibrant hue.
Elvis was not in the house, but in the car.
These snappy sports cars drew lots of admirers, including…
…this boy so intent on photographing the sports cars that he didn’t notice me photographing him. Car Cruise Night draws enthusiasts of all ages.
A lovely Bel Air Chevy.
I always appreciate the shiny bumpers polished to perfection and the reflections therein.
Probably the most unusual vehicle on display: the German Luftschutz motorcycle. I need to hear how (and why) the owner acquired this bike.
So graceful, this sailing ships hood ornament on a Plymouth.
The Pontiac hood art always impresses.
FYI: The next Faribault Car Cruise Night is set for 6 – 9 p.m. on Friday, July 15.
© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling