Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Lots to do in the Faribault area this autumn weekend October 12, 2018

“Grandview Farm Cat” by Faribault animal portrait artist Julie M. Fakler. Julie is among artists participating in this weekend’s South Central Minnesota Studio ARTour. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


ART. FOOD. FUN. Those and so much more are part of multiple events scheduled in and around Faribault during a jam-packed autumn weekend. Here’s a list of area happenings. For more information, click on the highlighted links within each event mini snapshot.


Kelly Lake, rural Faribault, photographed last October. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2017.


We’re only an hour south of Minneapolis along Interstate 35, making this a perfect day trip destination. While you’re here, check out our historic downtown and even take a drive in the country to see the fall colors. The rural areas, especially around Rice County’s many lakes, present some of the best colors in this region of Minnesota, in my opinion. (Click here for a view of last year’s fall colors.)


Art supplies photographed during a previous Studio ARTour. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


2018 Studio ARTour of South Central Minnesota

Meet 38 artists at 19 sites (many of them studios) during this weekend arts event that covers the Faribault, Northfield, Nerstrand and Farmington areas. This presents a great opportunity to talk to and view and buy art from artists who work with everything from wood to ceramics to paint and much more. Some studios open on Friday already with others open Saturday and Sunday. Click here for details.


Well-kept and well-traveled paths take hikers deep into Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Big Woods Run

Rise early Saturday to take in this annual marathon and more hosted by St. John’s United Church of Christ, Wheeling Township east of Faribault. Start time is 9 a.m. with later starts for the kids’ K. The route takes participants into Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, known for its remarkable autumn beauty. Click here and here for registration, schedule and more.


Buckham Memorial Library, Faribault, Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Athens of the West Free Walking Tour

Local historian and artist Jeff Jarvis hosts two free walking tours through downtown Faribault, beginning at Buckham Memorial Library on Saturday, the first tour at 11:30 a.m., the second at 2 p.m. Jarvis will explain via this tour how Faribault became known as “The Athens of the West.” Tour groups are limited to 15. Click here for details.


Costumed kids parade through historic downtown Faribault during a previous fall fest. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Faribault Main Street Fall Festival

Historic downtown Faribault is the setting for this annual October celebration that features a costume parade for kids, a chili cook-off, Faribault Foods Fall Frolic 5K Walk/Run and lots more. Come hungry as you can sample the chilis for $5. Click here for everything you need to know about this event set for Saturday.


Perusing merchandise at the Faribault Woolen Mill retail store. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


The Legendary Warehouse Sale, Faribault Woolen Mill

From 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, the historic woolen mill offers selected products at sale prices. This event always draws a crowd to the mill store along the banks of the Cannon River on Faribault’s north side. Click here for additional info.


Attendees at a past A Night at the Museum fill the one-room school for classes. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Night at the Museum

The Rice County Historical Society hosts its annual Night at the Museum, a living history type event from 4 – 7 p.m. Saturday at the county museum followed by music and stories around the campfire from 7 – 8 p.m. Click here for details.


You’ll get this food and more at the Trinity North Morristown church dinner. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Harvest Dinner & Fall Festival, Trinity Lutheran Church, North Morristown

If you crave great homemade food prepared by church people, this dinner is for you. From 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Sunday, the good folks of this country church will serve a turkey and ham dinner with all the fixings. I’ve attended this dinner multiple times and it is, by far, my favorite church dinner. Also browse the crafts, canned goods and treats for sale. Find more info by clicking here.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


19 Responses to “Lots to do in the Faribault area this autumn weekend”

  1. Oh, wonderful, Audrey!
    And that church dinner would be like tasting “HOME.” xxx from Duluth

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    If we could only stretch these times so we could take in more!!! N.E. Iowa Studio Art Tour is this weekend (awesome!), I’m at our Spring Grove “Festival of Quilts” doing free motion quilting demo today and tomorrow and there are so many other events in Winona/LaCrosse….yikes! Frost is on the pumpkin and anything else that was outdoors last night—-29F when I got up. Ugh! Tom’s more than ready to head to TX (temps still in the 90s! Enjoy the weekend!!! Hugs…..

  3. Go Grandma Says:

    I’ll be in Faribault this weekend – running the Big Woods half marathon. Very much looking forward to it!

  4. Bernadette Says:

    Wow, Faribault is a happening place this weekend — and many community-minded people behind all the events. That says so much about the city, The Athens of the West, something I had not heard before your post.

    • “Athens of the West” traces to Thomas Scott Buckham, who moved here from the East Coast. He was a local lawyer and then judge. He loved the Greek language, Greek mythology, etc. After his death, his wife donated funds to build the Thomas Scott Buckham Memorial Library, which includes Greek murals in what is now the second floor Great Room.

      Faribault is also home to both public and private schools such as Shattuck-St. Mary’s, the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, the Minnesota State Academy of the Blind, Bethlehem Academy, Faribault Lutheran School, Cannon River STEM School, Discovery School, South Central Technical College…

  5. valeriebollinger Says:

    That’s a long list! Thanks for sharing all the information. I think we’ll be participating in the ARTour if the weather holds.
    Isn’t it nice to see the sun?!

  6. […] you to my fellow blogger over at Minnesota Prairie Roots who coincidentally mentioned the half marathon in her blog last week!  Reading her blog made me […]

  7. I love your take on life around you. You have such an artistic eye. The pic of Kelly Lake is SO beautiful! At first, I thought it was a painting.

  8. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Great pictures! That autumnal view of the lake is stunning. Can you imagine going to school in a one room school house?

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