Faribault Woolen Mill Co. Turns 150

On August 15, Faribault Woolen Mill Co. will celebrate 150 years of success with its very first birthday party along the banks of the Cannon River. (Read more about the company’s story and popular behind-the-scenes factory tours here.) What’s on the agenda? Everything from locally brewed beer to weaving demonstrations—and, of course, a petting zoo. The celebration even kicks off with a sheep race, bringing small-town charm to a whole new level.  

What to expect:

An outdoor marketplace offers partygoers a selection of special anniversary products, plus discounts on purchases of more than $200. Blanket buyers can also throw in a personalized message with their purchase when they register with the company’s newest digital memory sharing system, “The Memory Mill.” Shop before or after visiting the goats and alpacas at the event’s petting zoo.

Other highlights include hourly raffles, fiber craft activities for kids, and food truck appearances from notable Twin Cities vendors, such as Camp Cheescake and Gerhard’s Brats. The main stage at neighboring Slevin Park will also feature a Faribault wool exhibition curated by Target designers in addition to music performances from local bands Abracadabra and The Pines.

Where to stay:

For those who plan to stay overnight, the Historic Hutchinson House Bed & Breakfast is perfectly quaint and situated less than five minutes from the mill grounds. If a B&B isn’t your thing, check out the Vintage Ballroom & Suites in the heart of downtown Faribault.  

What to eat:

Faribault is known for its cheese, and for good reason. The Cheese Cave offers a great selection (more than 40 options) of local brands including St. Pete’s Select and AmaBlu, whose contents are dug natively from the town’s underground caves and preserved through an extensive treatment process. Add olives, chocolate, wine, and more at the restaurant’s shop to pack the perfect picnic.  

Alexander’s Supper Club is located in downtown Faribault and offers a great classic Sunday brunch from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The restaurant’s lower level Pub 31 is also open with live music until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, if you’re feeling up to a late night after joining in the mill’s festivities.

What (else) to do:

Before you head to the river, stop by Faribault’s Farmers’ Market at Central Park (runs on Saturdays from 7 a.m.-noon) to sift through fresh veggies and baked goods. Or make your way along the town’s many miles of nature trails for gorgeous views of the Cannon and Straight rivers.