Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Horse-drawn wagon rides honor Christmases past in Faribault December 14, 2015

Mike Fuchs guides his team or horses southbound on Central Avenue in historic downtown Faribault late Saturday afternoon.

Mike Fuchs guides his team of horses southbound on Central Avenue in historic downtown Faribault late Saturday afternoon.

 

BELLS JINGLED AS HORSES clopped along Faribault’s Central Avenue late Saturday afternoon pulling Santa’s Wagon, although Santa was missing.

 

Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 79 close-up

 

Traffic jammed and shoppers paused to watch.

 

Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 84 close-up of Mike & horses

 

And occasionally along the route, Mike Fuchs reined his team to a halt for exiting and boarding passengers.

 

Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 89 near Security Bank clock

 

The horses trod past aged buildings and the recently-refurbished Security Bank Building clock.

 

Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 92 red car following

 

Time slowed for drivers trailing Santa’s Wagon. But no horns honked.

 

Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 94 horses in motion

 

For a few hours on a December Saturday afternoon, time flashed back to yesteryear, to days when horse power truly meant horse power.

 

Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 101 by print shop

 

It is good to slow down, to travel at the pace of a horse’s stride, to listen to the repeat rhythm of hooves upon pavement, to hear sleigh bells ring.

 

Santa's horse-drawn wagon, 106 by State Bank

 

There is time in the haste of life, in the crazy busyness of the Christmas season, for a horse-drawn wagon ride.

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Check back for more weekend holiday stories in and around Faribault, including a precious portrait you won’t want to miss tomorrow.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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