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

Sunday, January 25, 2009

President Barack Obama's plunger photo and Michelle Obama's dresses

From the Chicago Tribune, 1/25/09, by Steve Johnson

Barack Obama and a plunger: He might not want to remember this photo (Jan. 19). In 2003, the future leader of the free world clowned around with the World Famous Lawn Rangers, a central Illinois group of mower-based parade enliveners. Someone snapped a picture of Obama holding one of their "batons," a household plunger, high in the air, as if to proclaim, "I cleared that obstruction!" And last week, Web readers, naturally, preferred the story of the photo to any of the ones about the man being sworn in as President, perhaps because clutching a plunger is not a bad metaphor for the situation Obama now finds himself in. He's just got to be careful not to push too hard and dislodge the toilet.

Read the rest...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ranger Broomo interviewed on WICD

Nice interview of Tom Bruno discussing the Inaugural Parade experience.

Obama - the first 100 hours

The Lawn Rangers fame has spread "across the pond" as they are featured in an article in one of the world's most prominent online magazine's, Britain's "The Guardian". While the Lawn Rangers are only briefly mentioned, there's a darned good reason why they are the only parade entry mentioned.

Read the complete article (highly recommended) here

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama, Mow-Boma: lunar rover, lawn rovers cut new trails in inaugural parade

From the Space News Examiner, 1/23/09, by Patricia Phillips

Waving brooms and toilet plungers, the mighty, mighty World Famous Lawn Rangers from "Amazing" Arcola, Illinois, proved that no matter what your level of talent, "yes you can" wind up with the movers and shakes in Washington, D.C. The precision lawn mower drill team showed up in red graduation gowns, cowboy hats and their traditional "Lawn Ranger" masks to amble through a series of dazzling, high-precision moves like "walkin' the dog", a wide-leaning (blame the beer) turn in a circle.

Read the rest...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

TV was the place to be yesterday (Coverage from 'down under')

From the (New Zealand) Dominion Post, 1/22/09, by Jane Clifton

My favourite: the Lawn Rangers from Arcola, Illinois, billed as a precision lawn-mower drill team, but really just a bunch of masked exhibitionists, whose motto is: "You're only young once, but you can always be immature."

Read the rest...

Dave Barry plunges into the inaugural spirit

From Lawn Rangers "embedded reporter" Dave Barry, 1/22/09

There are 56 of us, jammed into a school bus with a seating capacity of 46 (there are many flatulence jokes). We join a line of other band buses in a Pentagon parking lot, creeping forward until we reach a security checkpoint, where we are screened by military personnel. One of the Rangers has the following exchange with a security screener:

SCREENER: What's this?

RANGER: It's a toilet plunger.

SCREENER (after a pause): OK.

After the screening we go into another tent, where we're given box lunches, which most of the Rangers wolf down immediately, even though it's only 9:30 a.m. All around us are military units and marching bands wearing immaculate matching uniforms; next to them, the Rangers, hunched over their box lunches, dribbling sandwich crumbs onto their graduation gowns, look like homeless people.

Read the rest...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama's historic day, minute by minute

From the Washington Times, 1/21/09, by Christina "Accuracy is my middle name" Bellantoni and Stephen "Dancing in Arizona" Dinan and Jon "What's all this about the innernet?" Ward

Both Mr. and Mrs. Obama laughed heartily and pointed at the lawn mowers pushed by a group from Arizona. The display included a pink pegasus horse with a unicorn-style horn and the dancers waved brooms.

Read the rest...

Times Change, but Circus Mood Endures

From the Wall Street Journal online, 1/21/09, by Cynthia Crossen

Tumbling Teams, Lawn-Mower Drill Squad Remind Us How America Always Yearns for a Good Show

Besides being historic milestones, presidential inaugurations are also three-ring circuses.

President Barack Obama's inaugural parade included horses, a tumbling team, a mariachi band, the Azalea Trail Maids of Alabama -- whose members dress like Scarlett O'Hara -- and the Lawn Rangers, a lawn-mower drill team from Illinois.

Read the rest...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ranger Dave Barry blogs the events of The Big Day

Don't miss Dave Barry's account of inauguration day from the perspective of an embedded reporter. Great pictures and a blow-by-blow, behind-the-scenes look at the Inauguration Parade by a World Famous journalist.

Dave's account starts here. (Just click the "Next" links to follow Dave's day.)

WICD-TV Parade Coverage

Late this afternoon President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle took to the streets of our nation's capitol for the annual inaugural parade. Walking in this years event are the world famous Lawn Rangers from Arcola. With founder Pat Monahan leading the way, the precision drill team sported red gowns. 57 members in all made their way down Pennsylvania Avenue bearing their mowers with no engines. Founded 28 years ago, this is the 116th [more like the 216th! ~ ed. ] parade for the Rangers. A pretty special one at that...

See the video on the WICD website

Obama saluted by marching bands, dancers, mower drivers

From Reuters, 1/20/09, by Charles Abbott

There were cultural groups, members of the U.S. military, drill teams, Indians, floats, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Alabama teenagers dressed in vibrant organza hoop skirts and a band of Illinoisans pushing whimsically decorated lawn mowers and carrying brooms among the 103 units from all 50 states in the parade.

Read the rest (and see the pathetic video)...

Mowing down the competition

From the St. Louis Post Dispatch, 1/20/09, by Kevin McDermott

One of Illinois’ dirty little secrets was exposed in the inaugural parade a little while ago, and for once, it has nothing to do with Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Yes, as the world now knows — thanks to CNN’s explosive and controversial parade coverage today — Illinois does, in fact, boast a team of precision lawn-mower marchers. Some of us over in Illinois have been aware of it for years, but have diligently kept it quiet.

Read the rest...

Parade brightens Washington

From cnews, 1/20/09, by Lauran Neergaard and Richard Lardner, AP

The World Famous Lawn Rangers from Amazing Arcola were also there.

From Obama's home state of Illinois, the group's members push mowers decorated with stuffed beavers, bowling balls, cowboy hats, lounge chairs.

Read the rest...

Green Industry Represented at Inauguration - Sort Of

From Lawn & Landscape magazine, 1/20/09

The green industry was represented at the Inaugural parade at The Nation's Capitol Tuesday - sort of. A group called The Lawn Rangers of Arcola, Ill., was invited to march in the parade. The group, from the new president's home state, brings its zany brand of entertainment, which includes walking with lawn mowers, rakes, plungers and other wacky props.

Monday, January 19, 2009

ABC National News Story on the Lawn Rangers

Click here to view

Pat Monahan interview on WNYC

From "The Takeaway", a co-production of PRI (Public Radio International) and WNYC Radio in collaboration with the BBC World Service, The New York Times and WGBH Boston.

The World Famous Lawn Rangers are among the many organizations participating in tomorrow’s 56th Inaugural Parade. Hailing from Arcola, Illinois, the group is famous for their fancifully embellished lawn mowers and madcap ways. Tomorrow will be their 116th parade in the Lawn Ranger’s nearly 30-year career and they say it will be the most memorable. Joining us for a sneak preview of the Lawn Rangers line-up is co-founder Pat Monahan.

Listen to the interview here.

Barack Obama and a plunger: He might not want to remember this photo

From the Chicago Tribune Article, 1/19/09, by Bob Secter

This very unpresidential photo of Barack Obama, blown up to poster size, will be rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue on Tuesday along with the most unorthodox participants of the inaugural parade: the World Famous Lawn Rangers, a 28-year-old Central Illinois-based precision lawn mower drill team.

"We are the whoopee cushion of the parade," declared Ranger veteran Tom Bruno, a member of the Champaign City Council.

Read the rest...

Lake Bluff lawn mower drill team sits home while Arcola squad plans to march in inaugural parade

From the Chicago Tribune,

"It can't be easy, facing up to the harsh reality that, in the intensely competitive world of precision-lawnmower-drill teams, you are second tier," [Dave] Barry wrote in response to an e-mailed question Friday. "Rest assured that, as we Lawn Rangers maneuver our mowers down Pennsylvania Avenue before a worldwide audience of millions, we will be proudly representing not just Arcola, but the entire state of Illinois, including the pathetic losers of Lake Bluff."

Read the rest...

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Ranger Broomo here. Checked in to our Washington DC temporary home. The city has been welcoming us with open arms, they have brought in a few extra cops to handle the crowds the Lawn Rangers are expected to draw.
There is an air of excitement so they must be familiar with our breed of entertainment.

The Lawn Rangers make a 57-mower march on D.C.

From, 1/17/09

Those lawn-mower-loving legions are members of the World Famous Lawn Rangers from Amazing Arcola (Illinois), and they were invited to participate in the inauguration parade up Pennsylvania Avenue. Lawn Rangers cofounder Pat Monahan thinks the Rangers' 2003 meeting with Obama during his run for the Illinois Senate played a role in their inauguration honor. (The photo shows Obama marching with the group in the 2003 St. Patrick's Day Parade in Chicago.)

Read the rest...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lawn Rangers headed to inauguration

From the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette, 1/15/09, by Tim Mitchell

In all, 57 Lawn Rangers, including 48 marchers bearing mowers, two toilet plunger men and seven banner aides dressed like Abraham Lincoln, will march down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.

They'll be wearing bright red gowns donated by Arcola's Collegiate Cap and Gown, American flag suspenders made by Perry Suspenders of Decatur and black masks that look very much like the one the Lone Ranger used to don.

"If you'd march with this group, you'd want to wear a mask, too," said Tim Monahan of Arcola, another original member and Pat's brother.

Read the rest...

Lawn Rangers ready to cut a swath through presidential history

From the Decatur Herald & Review, 1/15/09, by Tony Reid

In an emotional and yet completely ridiculous ceremony, the mowers were solemnly gathered together ready for the trip to Washington, D.C. Historians can't be sure, but it seems almost certain the 56th inauguration parade will be the first ever to feature a mower fitted with a toilet stool.

Read the rest...

Inaugural Parade Preparations

WAND-TV covers the World Famous Lawn Rangers as they prepare for their trip to Washington, D.C. to march in the Inaugural Parade.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pet Parade favorites make cut for inaugural parade

From TheDoings-LaGrange, 1/13/09 by Jane Michaels

An elite unit of the World Famous Lawn Rangers broke new ground in La Grange Monday on a whistle stop before the upcoming inaugural parade.

"We're trying out a new move," said Ranger John O'Halloran of LaGrange Park during a dry run and fund-raiser at Palmer Place to finance the trip to Washington, D.C. for about 50 members and their lavishly decorated lawn mowers. "It's never been done before."

Read the rest...

Lawn Ranger Photo Gallery

Lots more at the World Famous Lawn Rangers Official Photo Gallery

Friday, January 02, 2009

Marching On: The “World Famous” Lawn Rangers

From the Official Inaugural Blog, January 2, 2009, by Sam Teller

The precision lawn mower drill team—whose motto is “You’re only young once but you can always be immature”—features members from 21 to 80 years old who push whimsically decorated mowers. Their machines, adorned with everything from stuffed beavers and bowling balls to cowboy hats and lounge chairs, complement their muted canvas waist pouches and black opera eye masks.

Read the rest...