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Prairie Reapers parade antique tractors by Worthington long-term care, assisted living facilities

Group wanted to bring a little joy to residents after year-long pandemic kept them indoors.

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Tim Blume waves to residents of Ecumen Meadows from his John Deere tractor as the Prairie Reapers Power Reunion club parade vintage tractors past retirement and nursing homes in Worthington Thursday afternoon. Tim Middagh / The Globe

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WORTHINGTON — More than a dozen members of the Prairie Reapers Power Reunion gathered at the Nobles County Fairgrounds in Worthington Thursday afternoon for an antique tractor parade through the community, specifically to drive by the local long-term care and assisted living facilities.

Prairie Reapers President Norman Rehborg said the group has been planning the parade for a while, hoping to bring a smile to the faces of residents who spent most of 2020 and the earlier part of 2021 indoors without visitors.

“Last year, all of them stood there and looked out the window and you couldn’t get in to see them and they couldn’t get out,” Rehborg said. “We thought it would be nice, and what do these people like? Old stuff!”

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The group left from the fairgrounds and had to take an alternate route to get to Crossroads Care Center, where they paraded their colorful array of tractors — John Deere, Minneapolis Moline, Ford, International, Case and Oliver brands — past the facility’s Clary Street entrance. They continued down Clary Street and over Whiskey Ditch, headed for the west edge of town to parade past Homestead Cooperative, Golden Horizons and Ecumen Meadows. From there, they drove around the lake to wave at residents of South Shore Care Center before heading back north to parade up the main street of the fairgrounds.

The oldest tractor taking part in the parade was manufactured in the 1940s.

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Prairie Reapers Power Reunion club make the loop at the Golden Horizons Assisted Living & Memory Care unit with their vintage tractors as they parade past retirement and nursing homes in Worthington Thursday afternoon. Tim Middagh / The Globe

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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