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A new take on Santa’s sleigh

Holiday display features 1938 tractor

December 23, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Those turning onto Palmer Street off Center Street in Marshalltown are likely to have one of those "Only in Iowa" moments.

The holiday decoration at 6 Palmer St. features a plastic Santa Claus riding on a 1938 Allis-Chalmers B tractor.

Holiday lights wrap around the tractor and into the tree to try to give the impression it is in motion.

Article Photos

John Luthe stands next to his Christmas display that features a plastic Santa riding a tractor in his lawn at 6 Palmer St. in Marshalltown.

"The tractor can fly with Santa on it," joked John Luthe, the owner of the home with this unique decoration.

For 20 years the Luthes have been putting out the Santa on a tractor, and it has grabbed quite a bit of attention from passersby.

"Lots of cars drive by slow, and some of them even stop," Luthe said.

Even the neighbors look forward to the display each year.

"They ask if I put it out yet," Luthe said.

Luthe belongs to the Mid-Iowa Antique Power Association and said he's viewed pictures of people decorating their tractors, which spawned this idea.

"I'm pretty proud of my tractor," he said. "It's part of who I am."

During the warmer months, the tractor also has a job. It helps the Luthes tend to their garden at Marshalltown Community College.

"It's an antique tractor that gets used," Luthe said.

John's wife, Carol, enjoys the display in their lawn.

"I think it's beautiful, and I think it's unique," she said.

Palmer Street is located just south of the K-Mart in Marshalltown.



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