I love road trips in December because of the vintage Christmas decorations in small-town Minnesota. This year I took two trips just to see the lights – the first heading west along Highway 12 to Dassel, then north to 55 back to the Twin Cities (though it was too dark for pictures for the journey back), and the second south on 35 to Owatonna, back to Faribault, and then west to Waterville and New Prague. These were my favorites from the adventures (along with a couple extra photos from shorter trips).
My new favorite scene is in Montgomery, a city that celebrates its Czech heritage. These 3-D Christmas trees are paired with a blue banner that says “Peace” and “Joy” in both English and Czech.
The town also has two other styles:
Its neighbor, Lonsdale, has many design variations on the Season’s Greetings lights.
Antique street lights share a pole with the regular city spirit banners in Delano:
Owatonna’s Central Park has trees in each corner, including a picturesque spot across from the historic National Farmers’ Bank:
Snowflakes in Northfield:
Simple wreaths in North St. Paul:
New Prague has candle wreaths like many other towns, and this jeweler added its own tree:
Grocery stores are painting their windows in New Prague…
Garland crossing the intersections in Cannon Falls:
Cannon Falls also has wreaths on its lampposts – an effect that is somewhat muppet-like when viewed up close:
Snowflakes on lampposts that look like candles in Faribault:
This was the second time I drove through Morristown and Waterville, and I have a hard time keeping their names straight. I can remember the “Morris” and “Water” but never remember which is a town and which is a ville, so I usually end up saying Morrisville and Watertown. I reached these two just as the last light was fading, and the snowflakes were blinking on in Morristown:
Shooting stars in Waterville:
Skinny wire in Medford:
A variety in Rockford, including curly trees I haven’t seen anywhere else:
Darwin had the most shapes of one style of decoration – in this case, white wire.
Waverly has two styles, the white-wire along Highway 12…
…and “tinsel” style on Main Street.
Montrose wins my Most Variety Award for 2015. Many different banners and tinsel shapes along Highway 12, snowflakes on the south side of County Road 12…
…and my second-favorite of the season, these ornate vintage street lights on the north side of County 12.