The Murals of Faribault
In the town that I call home, one of my favorite things to see are the murals of Faribault. Bursting with color, the murals showcase some beautiful artwork and scenes from Faribault’s historic past, like this one of the bustling downtown in the 1950’s.
Murals began showing up in 2007. Artists and others from the community came together and formed the Mural Society of Faribault, which aims to use public art to increase community spirit and promote tourism. The first mural put up is located on the side of the Erickson Furniture store and features Alexander Faribault, the founder of Faribault.
Several others have been added throughout the years. Faribault is home of the Tilt-A-Whirl, which was invented by Herbert Sellner in 1926. Sellner Manufacturing of Faribault fabricated and sold the Tilt-A-Whirl for over 80 years. The company was sold to Gold Star Manufacturing, which still makes the Tilt-A-Whirl cars in Faribault.
Our next mural celebrates the annual Pet Parade, a Faribault tradition dating back to 1939. For almost eighty years animal lovers have been dressing up their pets in August and marching them through the streets of Faribault. Every year a new theme is chosen, like “Back to the 80’s” or “Into the Jungle”. It is quite a sight to see a chihuahua dressed like a punk rocker or a golden retriever dressed like a lion. You may see dogs, cats, horses, goats, snakes, other pets, and their humans dressed up and having a blast in the parade.
Faribault native Bruce Smith won the Heisman trophy for football in 1941. Playing as a halfback for the University of Minnesota, he helped them win national championships in 1940 and 1941. After college, he served in the United States Navy as a fighter pilot during World War II. When he returned from his service, he played profession football for the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Rams.
What town wouldn’t be proud of making beer for almost a hundred years! In 1872, Earnest Fleckenstein opened the Fleckenstein Brewery along the bluffs of the Straight River in Faribault. By 1900, the brewery made enough beer to sell to cities and towns throughout southeastern Minnesota. It survived the Prohibition by switching over to brewing orange soda and root beer. The brewery closed its doors in 1964.
I can’t imagine ice skating on a river. I’d be afraid of breaking through the ice due to the current, but people used to do it apparently years ago. Ice skating on the Straight River is memorialized in this mural.
You are always welcome to visit Faribault! Our community is rich in history and diversity. Stop by if you are passing though. For more information, check out the Visit Faribault website.
Enjoy the murals of Faribault! Here’s some links that will help you plan your visit.