The Virtues Trail in Heritage Bluffs Park was officially dedicated during a Grand Opening Celebration Wednesday night.  The Virtues Project of Faribault was in charge of the event and members were very pleased with the huge turnout.  The weather could not have been more perfect with temperatures in the 70's and sunny skies.  Heritage Bluffs Park is behind the Heritage Bluffs Apartments between The Depot and soon to open Crooked Pint Ale House.

Scores and scores of people came out for the event which featured free food and music.  The Depot provided finger foods of boneless chicken wings, mini roast beef sandwiches and cheese curds with some sauces.  Dr. Mike Hildebrandt, Dallas Musselman and Doug Madow added music that seemed perfect for the occasion.

L to R Mike Hildebrandt, Dee Musselman, Doug Madow provide music at Virtues Trail Grand Opening in Faribault. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

The new Virtues Trail has mirrored signs with virtue affirmations in three languages.  The metal poles are painted with multiple vibrant colors and the mirrors allow people to see themselves in each of the virtues highlighted.  Kymn Anderson with the Virtues Project Board encouraged people to take selfies and post them on social media promoting the character traits they contend are in all of us.

People of all ages were at the dedication which also featured a short presentation acknowledging the work of Roosevelt Elementary Art Teacher Wanda Holmgren and others.  Holmgren shared with the crowd the same story heard on Monday's KDHL AM Minnesota program about how she came up with the idea of the mirrors placed along the trail.  Holmgren was looking in the mirror one morning when the idea popped into her head and judging the reaction by community members at the dedication it worked.

The Virtues Project members want to emphasize these qualities are not values or ideology, because in our very diverse community they say it is essential the message be unifying and inclusive for all.

Funding for the project came through the Artist on Main Street Grants, part of the Faribault Main Street Program, a program of the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism.

The Virtues Project has other activities going on in Faribault.

This fall all local kindergarten and pre-school classrooms will receive gift bags so teachers have the resources they need to promote Virtues with their students.  The bags include a educator's guide, virtues cards for students to use and other materials to assist teachers in sharing about the virtues with their students.

Saturday, October 6th they are offering another free Introductory Workshop (Continuing Education Unit credits available).  The event is from 10:00 a.m. to Noon at the Buckham Memorial Library Great Hall and will provide information on the Five Strategies and how to put the virtues to use in your life.

There are five other Faribault Artists on Mainstreet projects on display and several others coming.

Just a few of the scores of people at Virtues Trail Dedication in Faribault. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld