THIS WEEKEND IN FARIBAULT, we would have celebrated Winterfest, complete with a lighted holiday parade, fireworks and more. But, due to COVID-19, organizers canceled the celebration. And rightly so.
But then the Faribault Parks and Recreation Department got creative, coming up with a Drive-by Tree Display as part of the community’s annual Hometown Holidays celebration, which typically centers at the library with activities and the arrival of Santa on a fire truck. None of that happened.
This year we have Christmas trees—a line of 19 decorated evergreens stretched along one block on the east side of Central Park next to Second Avenue and across from the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour.
Randy and I checked out the display around sunset Saturday evening. It’s beautiful. In daylight. And even more lovely when the sun colors orange into the sky and darkness edges in and the holiday lights switch on.
Meant to be a drive-by look-and-see, Randy and I opted to walk by. The timing of our visit meant few people in the park. We had our masks in hand if needed.
Walking by and stopping at the trees provided a close up look of ornaments, of tree toppers, of all the details that made each tree a holiday delight.
Each of the 19 trees was decorated by a business or non-profit or organization. I appreciate the thoughtfulness and effort put into decorating the trees, which will be given to St. Vincent DePaul and donated to needy families.
But most of all, I appreciate this gift to my community. Now, more than ever, we need to feel uplifted, joyful, happy. And I felt all of those when I photographed these decorated trees.
If I would change one thing, it would be to leave these trees displayed for more than a few days. They went up on Thursday. Sunday, December 6, marks your last time to view the Drive-by Tree Display.
What a gift. Thank you, Faribault Parks and Recreation and all who participated in what I hope will become an annual community tradition.
© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling