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Clowning around in Northeastern South Dakota

The clowns of D. Crouse and Crew have been entertaining Northeastern South Dakota parade-goers since 1958 — when Willow Lake resident Don Crouse rode into the town’s centennial parade driving a clanky 1917 Ford Model T stitched together from various parts of other cars.

Crouse’s clowning around was a regular feature in parades for years, but sadly, in 2016, a fire at his Lake Kampeska home claimed Don Crouse’s life and destroyed his old Model T.

Family members and close friends pledged to carry on the parade clowning tradition that Don Crouse started back in 1958. The new members of D. Crouse and Crew decided to build a new clown car and found out that getting a car to run and be funny at the same time is no easy feat.