You're only young once... but you can always be immature.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

OUR VIEW: D.C. in for a treat with unique Lawn Rangers

From the Decatur Herald & Review Article, 12/12/08

The masked rangers are a collection of fun-loving individuals from various backgrounds, including doctors, lawyers, executives, laborers, teachers and even journalists. They do intricate maneuvers pushing lawn mowers, twirling brooms and entertaining audiences with various photo opportunities, including placement of a commode on top of a lawn mower that may be referred to as the best seat in the house.

The group’s origins go back many years with annual appearances in the Broom Corn Festival parade in Arcola. From there came invitations to perform at major bowl game parades, and major regional events like the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago, where they encountered Obama a few years ago when he was a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Read the rest...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Zany Lawn Rangers Rev Up for Obama's Inaugural Parade

From the Washington Post "The Sleuth" column, 12/11/08, by Mary Ann Akers

They aren't politically correct and they aren't very presidential. But somehow, the World Famous Lawn Rangers from Amazing Arcola (Illinois) - a longtime staple of beer-drenched St. Patty's Day parades in America's heartland - have secured a spot in President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural parade.

Pushing mowers and wielding toilet plungers and broomsticks, the Lawn Rangers have entertained rowdy crowds from the St. Patrick's Day parade in Chicago and the Indy 500 parade in Indianapolis to the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix and the Holiday Bowl parade in San Diego. They've also participated in countless community parades throughout the Midwest, including Arcola's Broom Corn Festival parade, where they first marched 28 years ago, bonded by their only talent: pushing mowers.

And now, they'll get a chance to wow the millions of Americans expected to descend on the nation's capital for Obama's inauguration next month.

Read the rest...

A Short History of the World Famous Lawn Rangers from Amazing Arcola

If you attended a Midwest parade in the last 28 years, there’s a good chance you heard the following introduction to one of the more lasting and endearing parade success stories:
“Today, these masked men are starting their 28th year of crowd pleasing precision marching. After last year’s first place finish in the Holiday Bowl Parade, the Lawn Rangers are hoping to win the coveted 'participant' award in today’s BroomCorn Festival Parade. Dressed in their uniforms displaying Amazing Arcola - Hub of the Tri-Cities (Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis) and tossing their unique 'show' brooms (and often catching them), the Rangers are appearing in their 213th parade, once again proving their motto 'You’re only young once but you can always be immature'.”

Twenty eight years ago, a handful (13) of Arcola area citizens decided it was time to be part of Arcola’s Famous Broom Corn Festival Parade, instead of hecklers and observers. They took a talent inventory and came to the conclusion that pushing mowers and twirling brooms was probably the best they could do. But they did it with gusto. Soon after, invitations to appear in other festival parades poured in and the Rangers went on tour. The rest is history. Today, the Rangers can look back with pride on appearances in the following cities and festivals:

  • Benton Harbor, Michigan Blossom Time Parade
  • Mow – Town (Detroit) Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • Chicago Holiday Parades and St Patrick’s Day Parades
  • St. Louis St. Patrick’s Day Parade
  • Indianapolis Indy 500 Parade
  • Springfield Ill. State Fair Parades
  • Canton Pro Football Hall of Fame Parade
  • Phoenix Fiesta Bowl Parades
  • San Diego Holiday Bowl Parades

They have also appeared in community parades throughout the Midwest - too numerous to mention.

Over 1,000 individuals have marched with the Rangers, meeting their strict recruiting standard - “they weed themselves out”. These members are ages 21 to 80 and from all walks of life, bound only by a sense of humor, and the great bond of “fellership”. Their ranks include their team press agent, noted Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Dave Barry. Ranger Dave has appeared in 5 parades, written 5 columns featuring the Rangers, and sponsored a TV production starring himself and the Rangers. In addition to Ranger Dave’s fine work, the Rangers have appeared in many TV human interest specials. The area Press has also been kind to us with multiple fine stories on the adventures of the Rangers, as well as nice work by Ranger columnist, Tom Kacich.

And now, maybe their crowning achievement, The World Famous Lawn Rangers have been invited to March in this year’s Inaugural Parade. They befriended then Senate hopeful, Barack Obama, in 2003, at the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade and will honor him with a sparkling parade performance. The Rangers are planning to have an embedded reporter in their elite corps and have both uniform and equipment upgrades for this historic event.

“It’s a real honor”, says Pat Monahan, adding “I have been asked many times as to why I think we were selected over the almost 1400 other groups who applied for this position. I can only think that we are known for having a good time and showing people how to have a good time with us, and the Inaugural Committee must think our services are needed. It is a definite American trait - the ability to laugh at ourselves - which may be needed now more than ever. Or it could be that we were the only lawn mower drill team to apply.” He adds, “Never have so many done so much with so little.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lawn Rangers must have slick shtick for inauguration

From the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette, 12/10/08, by Tom Kacich

Barack Obama promised change, and now we're going to get it – at his inaugural parade.

The two-hour-long parade after the president-elect's inauguration will feature the usual high school marching bands, drill teams, horse units and even the Jesse White Tumbling Team from Chicago.

But never before has an inaugural committee had the courage to invite The World Famous Lawn Rangers from Amazing Arcola, Illinois (Official motto: You're only young once, but you can always be immature).

Having marched a few times with these remarkable entertainers who challenge the notion that middle-aged white guys can't have fun, the whole thing reminds me of Wilbur Mills. He was the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in 1974 when he was found drunk and with scratches on his face not far from the Capitol. He was in the company of a stripper who performed under the name Fanne Foxe.

Read the rest...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

World Famous Lawn Rangers taking their act to Obama's inaugural parade

From the Decatur Herald & Review, 12/9/08, by Kurt Erickson

The World Famous Lawn Rangers from Arcola are known for performing precision maneuvers while pushing old lawn mowers down parade routes.

In the coming weeks, their task will be figuring out how to navigate through the throngs of people descending on Washington D.C. for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

Read the rest...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Arcola lawnmowers to appear in inauguration parade

Lawnmower Team to March for Inauguration

UPI "Odd News" Article, 12/8/08

A lawnmower drill team from Arcola, Ill., says it has been picked to perform in the Washington parade following President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.

The World Famous Lawn Rangers from Amazing Arcola said about 40 members of the group, which performs elaborately choreographed routines with push-lawnmowers and twirling broomsticks, will travel to Washington for the 56th Inaugural Parade Jan. 20, the Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette reported Monday.

"We're quite honored to be included in this great inaugural parade," Lawn Ranger founder Pat Monahan said. "It's a new dawn for our country and we're excited about it."

The Presidential Inaugural Committee said in a Dec. 5 release that more than 1,300 groups from across the country applied to march in the parade.

"These organizations embody the best of our nation's history, diversity and commitment to service," Obama said in the release. "Vice President-elect (Joe) Biden and I are proud to have them join us in the parade."

The Lawn Rangers: Change We Can De-Weed In

Candy Kirby Blog Post, 12/8/08

The 56th inaugural parade celebrating new U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to include musical units, color guards and salute batteries — and, of course, the “world famous” Lawn Rangers.

The Lawn Rangers are described as a “precision lawn mower drill team” that pushes elaborately decorated lawn mowers and twirls brooms in a coordinated routine. Proof that change IS coming to Washington — and it may not be an entirely good thing.

Of course, that opinion may change if they effectively sweep away the U.S.’s financial woes and mow down auto industry CEOs.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Lawn Rangers Invited to Perform at Inauguration

From the front page article in the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette, 12/7/08 by Pam G. Dempsey

The Lawn Rangers are an unorthodox performance group, pushing elaborately decorated lawn mowers and twirling brooms in a coordinated routine. This "precision lawn mower drill team" has performed in dozens of parades, including parades for the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., and the Indianapolis 500 parade. This will be the group's first inaugural parade.

"Our job will be to spice it up and make it interesting" said member Tom Bruno, who is also a member of the Champaign City Council.

Read the rest...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Inaugural Parade


Fielding media inquiries this morning on the Inaugural Parade:

PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL COMMITTEE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chris Mather
December 5, 2008 (202) 203-1775

Presidential Inaugural Committee Invites Illinois Residents to Perform in 56th Inaugural Parade

Talent From Across America To March In Parade From Capitol To White House

WASHINGTON - Today, in keeping with its commitment to hold inaugural events that celebrate our common values and reflect the diversity and history of our great nation, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden's Inaugural Committee officially extended offers to the World Famous Lawn Rangers from Amazing Arcola and the Jesse White Tumbling Team to march in the 56th Inaugural Parade. Members of the groups will join representatives from across the country and our Armed Forces in the historic parade down Pennsylvania Avenue following President-elect Obama's swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the Capitol.

"I am honored to invite these talented groups and individuals to participate in the Inaugural Parade," said President-elect Obama. "These organizations embody the best of our nation's history, diversity and commitment to service. Vice President-elect Biden and I are proud to have them join us in the parade."

Organizations wishing to participate in the parade submitted an application to the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (AFIC), which then assisted the Presidential Inaugural Committee in reviewing all of the groups' applications. All told, 1,382 organizations applied to participate, setting a new standard for interest in marching in the parade.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee was assisted in its selection process by a group of experienced military musicians, who utilized their expertise to help assess the presentation skills of marching bands, musical acts and drill teams.

All participants in the Inaugural Parade are responsible for paying for their own lodging and transportation to and from Washington, D.C. The Committee has been working closely with area governments and civic organizations to facilitate access to affordable accommodations and would like to encourage citizens from across the country to reach out and help the groups raise the necessary resources to participate in this historic event.

Regularly updated information will be provided to the public and the media on our website, www.pic2009.org.

###


This email was sent to: news@wdws.com

Friday, December 05, 2008

Lawn Rangers Invited To Obama Inaugral Parade


On December 5, 2008, The Lawn Rangers were officially invited to march in the January 20, 2009, United States Presidential Inaugural Parade. They are currently evaluating whether that parade meets their exacting standards.

Ranger Dave Barry on the World Famous Lawn Rangers

A member since 1991, humorist Dave Barry has written some very entertaining articles on the World Famous Lawn Rangers...

These maneuvers require great precision, and we rookies were forced to train in the grueling sun for nearly two full minutes before we could perform them to the Rangers' exacting standards.
Read the rest of Ranger Dave's 1st article on the World Famous Lawn Rangers here.

It's difficult, using mere words, to describe the scene as the Rangers, more than 50 strong, stride in two columns down the parade route, pushing our mowers in front of us, raising our brooms on high at the command "Brooms Up!"; meanwhile, bringing up the rear, glinting in the Midwestern sun, is: Elvis' giant concrete butt.
Read the rest of Ranger Dave's 2nd article on the World Famous Lawn Rangers here.

What we do is push lawn mowers and carry brooms. At various points along the parade route, we stop and astonish the crowd by performing broom-and-lawn-mower maneuvers with a level of smooth precision that you rarely see outside of train wrecks.
Read the rest of Ranger Dave's 3rd article on the World Famous Lawn Rangers here.

Naturally, we do this for a good cause, namely: To improve the morals of our nation's youth. Parents along the parade route can say to their children, "You better be moral, or you'll wind up like these men."
Read the rest of Ranger Dave's 4th article on the World Famous Lawn Rangers here.

The Lawn Rangers perform highly sophisticated semi-synchronized maneuvers with lawnmowers, brooms, and toilet plungers. Membership in this crack unit is a great honor, bestowed only on whoever shows up very few people.
The rest of Ranger Dave's recent blog post can be found here.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Lawn Rangers Who's Who

For those of us who don't get to march with the Rangers as often as we'd like (as well as fans, groupies and the news media), I thought it might be nice if there was a "Who's Who" of the World Famous Lawn Rangers.

Please click here and add a comment to this post with the following information...
  • Your name
  • Your Ranger name
  • Where you live
  • Where you've marched with the Rangers
  • If you're a founding member or Hall of Famer (or both), please mention that
  • If you have your own customized mower, feel free to tell about it
Also, so we have a face to go with the name, please click here to add a photo to your profile.

Don't have a photo of yourself? Don't know how to crop a digital image? Email me (Donny Bahama at World Famous Lawn Rangers dot org) a group photo you're in (and tell me which one is you) and I'll crop it and send it back to you.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Prairie Fire Documentary

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lawn Rangers riding high

From the Champaign-Urbana News Gazzette, 3/9/08, by Meg Thilmony

Legions of masked men marching parade routes all over the country have brought fame and recognition to Arcola.

OK, so the Lawn Rangers' fame is usually associated with laughter as men perform drills with humorously modified lawnmowers and those famous Arcola brooms. But they've been in more than 200 parades for almost 30 years, including the Indianapolis 500, Fiesta Bowl and Pro Football Hall of Fame parades.

As co-founder Pat Monahan likes to say, "Never have so many done so much with so little."

Read the rest...