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After 21 months, John Deere Pavilion is back open

The John Deere Pavilion reopened Friday, Nov. 19, adding new interactive exhibits to learn about the equipment and the people who use it.

MOLINE, Ill. — The John Deere Pavilion in Moline has been closed since March 2020 and reopened for the first time on Friday, Nov. 19 with a new look. 

"We knew that we needed to change things and make it feel like a welcome center for people coming to see John Deere," said John Deere Branded Properties Lead Brandon Jens. "For the last year, over this entire summer, we've had an incredible team of people put together this new space. It's taken a lot of work, a lot of energy, supply chain issues."

A major part was refreshing the space to make it look more like a pavilion, Jens said. It also serves as the welcome center for the company. 

"We needed to show everyone our higher purpose, what our equipment's doing today," he said. "It's just meant to be a space that completely is changing and evolving through time."

Visitors can see the iconic green tractor equipment on display, including some vintage equipment. Some of it you're able to climb up and sit in, while others are for eyes only. 

"That's the star of the show. Everybody wants, all the kids want to climb on the equipment," Jens said. "Around April, I believe, we're bringing in an X9 combine, so the idea of the space is really to have it be modular and flexible. If you come in six months, every six months, it should be very different new experiences."

Some of the other new exhibits include a tech room that you can walk through and interact with to learn about how four different individuals around the world use the equipment. 

Also new to the pavilion is the "We Run Hat Exhibit."

"You can pick a hat in our exhibit, there's 30 hats to pick from, and you can hear the story of the person who wore that hat or even just a little detail about the hat," Jens said.

There's still some work that has to be done before the new pavilion is complete. Jens said there's eventually going to be digital kiosks next to the equipment so visitors can read and learn about it. There's also going to be a new game that he believes will be a hit with the kids. 

"It's called a stomp and spray, so like "Dance Dance Revolution" game where you dance on the pad," Jens said. "We're gonna have a screen that shows crops going by and you have to stomp on the weeds to kill them."

Jens said after being closed for so long, it's fun to see everyone get to enjoy the space again. 

"I've been in this space for a year and it's been empty," he said. "It's amazing to see all these people in here, seeing the community, see how they're interacting with the equipment and our exhibits."

The John Deere Pavilion is open 1-5 p.m. Mondays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Admission is free.