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
Thank you, and welcome to the comments section.
I love going to car shows even though I know nothing about them. It is a unique group of close knit folks that go to these cruise ins and it is always fun to watch them gather and chat about their vehicles, isn’t it? Too bad you missed the cupcake eating contest.
For many years I resisted going to car shows with my husband. No more. There’s so much to see. And with camera in tow, I notice lots more.
Bluebird Cakery cupcakes are delicious!
One can’t put a $$$ value on the “sense of community” that occurs on these occasions! Hmmm? Luv the photo with the very old, un-restored auto with “Keepers Antiques” in the background ( I know that was intended!!!!!).
Actually, I never made the connection b/n the Keepers sign and the rusty pick-up until now. But, yes, you’re right that including the sign was intentional. Intentional from the perspective of making a better photo. And now for the bonus of the words connecting to the truck. Thank you for being keenly observant. I can always count on you for an insightful comment.
Isn’t it interesting how each of us have a different “obvious”??????!!!!! LOL!!!
Yes, it is. And I always always appreciate your perspective, observations and insights.
Yet another great blog about Faribault . . . you know I love this place!
Thank you, Tami. And, yes, I know you do. You and Doug do a great job of promoting Faribault through your Hutchinson House Bed & Breakfast and your volunteerism in the community. Thank you for all of your efforts.
There is nothing better than getting together as a community for events like these – loving your captures 🙂 I love the cars from the late-60’s/early 70’s. We were watching the movie Jaws this weekend and I was admiring all the family station wagons coming off the ferry. My uncle had the family wagon and I still have fond memories of piling into it and heading out to Sunday church and then dinner afterwards. Happy Day – Enjoy!
What great memories you connect to your uncle’s wagon. It is interesting to watch those older movies and see how styles, cars, etc., have evolved.
Well, that was a fun post! This past weekend was the MSRA annual gathering at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, so our neighborhood was inundated with classic cars from all over. I love this particular weekend because so many people are out watching the cars cruise up and down Snelling Avenue and nostalgia permeates the air.
Thank you. Car cruises are such feel-good events, for the very reason you cite. Nostalgia.
Now if cars could speak, like in the movies, the old Dodge truck (near Keepers) would tell the young Dodge viper (in front of Subway) to start and not embarrass its owners at the car show when it’s time to leave.
If only…I’m sure the Viper driver would have appreciated that sage vice from the Dodge truck. Great comment.
Looks like a good time. Love all of the old cars 🙂
It was a wonderful evening in downtown Faribault.