Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Memorial Day in Faribault, a photo essay May 28, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:18 PM
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A veteran salutes during the Memorial Day Program at Faribault’s Central Park.


MEMORIAL DAY IN FARIBAULT, like in so many other American towns, honors veterans through patriotic tradition.


Steve Bonde plays patriotic tunes on a downtown Faribault street corner before the start of the Memorial Day parade.


Parade goers listen to Bonde as they await the start of the parade.


A barber cuts hair in his barbershop across the street, parade-goers reflected in his shop window.


A parade follows Central Avenue through our historic downtown, ending in nearby Central Park.




Grand Marshall Vicki McDowell with her husband, Honorary Grand Marshall Myles McDowell.


Each year I expect the same—the police cars and fire trucks, the Color Guard and honored veterans,






the bands and Scouts,




the kids and candy and politicians,






the vintage cars and the horses.





A restored vintage Tilt-A-Whirl provides a parade viewing spot in the heart of downtown. The Tilt-A-Whirl was invented in Faribault and, up until several years ago, was still made here.


Only the faces change, and sometimes not even those.


A volunteer hands out programs at Central Park.


Printed on the back of the program and read by master of ceremonies Gordy Kosfeld.


After the parade, folks gather at Central Park for the Memorial Day program, this year the 149th.


A table setting at American Legion Post 43 honors the POW-MIAs.


Afterwards, some—mostly vets and their families—go to the Legion for a luncheon and additional remembrances.


The luncheon serving line set against a backdrop of photos of local Legion Post 43 commanders.


There’s a certain comfort in embracing this day with time-honored traditions. Traditions remind me year after year after year that we still live in a free nation. Each Memorial Day I can set my lawn chair curbside along Central Avenue. I can take photos without retribution. I can stand for my flag and applaud and smile. On this day, I am grateful.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


22 Responses to “Memorial Day in Faribault, a photo essay”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Love small town parades and celebrations.

  2. Littlesundog Says:

    All of these images are wonderful, but my favorite is the very first one. Outstanding!!

  3. Almost Iowa Says:

    Memorial Day parades are the best of small town life. Not that Faribault is that small – but it is small enough to for such treasures.

  4. Beautiful photos. It’s such a perfect way to remember our fallen heroes. Thanks for taking me to the parade!

  5. Murphy's Law Says:

    This is such a nice post celebrating Memorial Day. Small town USA, flags, vintage cars, horses, school band, Boy Scouts, people lining the street cheering and smiling….it’s just perfect. You took some great photos to capture the parade Audrey, but the very best is the one of the veteran saluting. Tradition is clearly alive and well in Faribault!
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

  6. valeriebollinger Says:

    Great photo essay of a wonderful event, honoring our veterans.

  7. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Great pictures! Thanks for sharing

  8. Jackie Says:

    Great photo’s of a parade that reminds us of our fallen hero’s. Thanks for sharing

  9. Bella Says:

    you have captured the flavor of small town USA with your photo essay. And yes we all should be grateful we live in a land of free-nicely done Audrey

  10. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    I didn’t know the Tilt-a-Whirl was invented in Faribault! Nice photos, as always.

  11. Gunny Says:

    A little late. First photo is 1st rate Audrey. It is what is on his hat that would put us “in touch” with each other. He was an Army CWO-4 in Ordnance. Talking points if you will. Small town parades are better than I ever imagined. I participated in two outside of San Antonio. These were the 100th Anniversary of the end of WW 1. In both, veterans and descendants of those veterans (what ever war) were invited to ride the floats. Amazing!

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