Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

In Faribault: Costumed kids on parade on Central October 11, 2016



OLAF, STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, Raggedy Ann, Laura Ingalls Wilder, police officers, firefighters and more—all paraded down Faribault’s Central Avenue at noon Saturday for the Fall Festival Costume Parade.




It’s an annual event that not only celebrates the season, but also gives kids a chance to dress up, pretend and, well, act like kids.




I watched as parents dressed kids street-side,








as families walked toward the beginning of the parade route




and then later followed the route.




I delighted in the uninhibited enthusiasm,




in the clasped hands,




in the hesitant waves,



and in the exuberant smiles.




I appreciated the dog striped as a skunk,




the colorful and playful witch kicking her legs




and even the preschool princess trailing, unable to pedal her trike fast enough.




For awhile, those of us gathered in downtown Faribault focused on the scene before us. Joyful. Happy. Fun. A time of togetherness that is the stuff of October memories in Minnesota.











TELL ME: What’s your favorite Halloween costume memory?



© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


30 Responses to “In Faribault: Costumed kids on parade on Central”

  1. Littlesundog Says:

    I blogged about that one time… my “lack” of great costume memories as a kid. My family never had money for costumes and mom was too busy to make anything or create any kind of costume from scratch. I was one of the mortified kids without a costume when everyone else wore their colorful and creative costumes to school for the day. Most of the time mom bought a cheap package of varied masks and that is what we five kids wore to trick or treat on Halloween night.

    • Like you, my parents didn’t have extra money either. And, like you, we six kids wore cheap plastic masks on Halloween, pulling items from closets to complete whatever character we wanted to portray. My favorite was the year I was a gypsy. I wish I still had that gypsy mask.

  2. Marilyn Says:

    My first year at our church’s youth group costume party I borrowed an old dress, gloves, and shoes of my great-grandmother’s along with an old ladies’ mask and a deep, large toque hat that covered all my hair. No one guessed who I was and I won a prize for that. But – I didn’t want to reveal myself to everyone just to keep them guessing longer – and here’s where the problem started. I was too loaded down with disguise to be able to enjoy the refreshments!

  3. Dan Traun Says:

    Halloween is such a magical time for the little ones. I have many fond memories of this holiday. This holiday has changed much since I was young. The door-to-door experience doesn’t largely exist anymore; that is too bad. Events like this make up for it some I am sure.

  4. Jocelyn Says:

    I can remember it vividly – third grade and I dressed as Pippi Longstocking. Mom fashioned a headband from an old wire hanger and braided my long red hair around the wire so the braids flipped up and out. We found old corduroy overalls at the thrift shore and sewed patches on them. It was finished off with old pair of lace up leather boots we already had and some extra freckles courtesy Crayola washables. All in it probably cost less than $5, but I remember the time my mom and I spent together on it.
    For the record, this year Meghan is going to be a scary witch and Katherine is going to be a rainbow butterfly.

    • Thanks for sharing this specific Halloween memory, Jocelyn. I would love to see a photo of you sometime as Pippi. What a great idea and perfect for someone with red hair.

      I always made costumes for our kids, too. The most memorable: Amber as a butterfly (painted cardboard wings), Miranda as a sheep (taped hundreds of cotton balls to a garbage bag) and Caleb as an elephant (grey quilted fabric for chest, trunk and ears and grey sweats). Interesting enough, Caleb went on to attend Tufts University which has an elephant mascot.

      I’d love to see pix of your darling daughters in their costumes. Hint, hint.

  5. Sue Ready Says:

    what a fun posting and double the fun when you can wear your costume twice. I loved the witch with stripped socks too! and were the stores giving out treats because they all seemed to be carrying something to collect?

  6. Norma Says:

    I guess I will be a downer when it come to Halloween. I had costumes, I’m sure my mom must have had something for me, but I don’t remember it. As II reached my teen years, our church group would always have a party. I do remember one in our garage. I always made costumes for my 5 kids, but I only allowed them to go to houses of people we knew. As time went by, coming to our door would be car loads of grown kids. Or babies pushed in a stroller by their mother. The past few years, I didn’t turn on my porch light. We now live in a senior community, and last year not one child came to our door. In fact, I had even forgotten about it being Halloween We have a fall festival every year at church, and I do buy candy , and usually attend. As the years go by, it is much too dangerous for children to be out trick or treating for candy. Sorry for being a party pooper, but Halloween is not a favorite time of year for me.

  7. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Love the witch kicking. What I remember is wearing a clown costume with a snow suit underneath. Mom made it so big I think I wore it 5 years in a row

  8. Don Says:

    In the neighborhood I live in fortunately we have hundreds of trick-or treaters stop by. It is always interesting to see the costumes that people wear particularly the home made type. Over the years we have had cow girls riding real horses, a group of 20+ kids as star wars storm troopers that arrived in military tracked vehicles, mushers on dog sleds and numerous other entertaining get ups. Our corner neighbor has a fire going in his fire pit and serves hot chocolate and coffee to all and the state troopers hang out there giving kids glow sticks to wear around their necks for visibility safety. It is a fun time for the neighborhood.

    • I would love to be in your neighborhood on Halloween. Up there in Alaska you do things a lot differently than down here. I’m impressed by your reports of horses, dog sleds, storm troopers and a neighborhood fire pit. Way to go, Alaskans.

  9. Don Says:

    Audrey your always welcome to come! I am always impressed with what Faribault does. There seems to be some activity happening in town most weekends and I would love to be part of that someday too. Perhaps……………………………….

    • No big trips in the budget, but thank you anyway.

      Last weekend was especially busy in Faribault. I sometimes wish events were spread out more rather than all happening at the same time. Now we’re getting into the season of craft sales.

  10. Mike McIntosh, omaha, Nebraska Says:

    I am a70 year old grandmother and I would always love to dress up as a gypsy on Halloween , I would wear a lot of my mom’s fancy jewelry. What fun.
    My husband always reads and enjoys your blog. Connie

    • Welcome to the comments section from Omaha. I always love hearing from my readers, and especially hearing your stories. Please thank your husband for reading my blog. I am grateful.

      I can just picture you as a gypsy wearing your mom’s fancy jewelry. That’s a sweet and fun memory.

  11. treadlemusic Says:

    Such a breath of fresh CLEAN air…….so welcome with all the “blue” air we are bombarded with at every turn. Another reason to visit “blog-ville” and refocus on the goodness that still happens in this wonderful country. Your blog is always a sweet reminder of such times….thank you….with hugs……………..

  12. Valerie Says:

    Fun post Audrey.

    My favorite costume from when I was young was a scarecrow…with hay sticking out the arms and legs of flannel and whatever pants I wore…can’t quite remember. HA

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