If you were traveling the blacktops of O’Brien Country on Friday, July 27, you may have run into a traffic jam.
What caused the backup? Forty-two antique tractors.
As part of Sanborn’s Railroad Days, area tractor enthusiasts took to the road for the 11th annual antique tractor parade. The route departed from Sanborn at around 9 a.m., made a stop for coffee at the elevator in Archer, cruised south to Germantown for lunch, back through Primghar before returning to Sanborn.
Merne Haack of Sanborn brought the idea of the tractor parade to Sanborn after getting hooked on the concept while living in Swea City. A friend invited him to use one of his tractors for a ride. Eventually Haack purchased a tractor of his own. Now he owns six.
Born and raised in Sanborn, Haack returned and brought his passion for tractor rides with him.
“Once you get started on it you don’t get over it,” he said. “I guess it makes you think of your boyhood days.”
The tractor parade generally travels a loop of about 60 miles. Humming along at around 12 mph, with stops along the way, the trip takes about seven hours to complete.
The number of participants varies between 35-40 tractors on average. Haack said this year’s parade was one of the biggest.
“It’s the fastest growing, slowest moving athletic event there is,” Haack joked.
Many riders are from the area, but Haack said some have come from as far as Luverne, MN, or Algona.
You may see some younger faces among the riders as well.
“Grandsons. Grandpa likes grandsons to go along,” Haack said. “I think they like it too.”
The tractor parade is not the only time you may see Haack and his fellow riders on the road. He and several others plan short rides for coffee every couple of weeks. Coffee runs only consist of up to 15 tractors and tend to stick to gravel Haack assures.