Twenty-nine years ago, a handful (15) of Arcola area citizens decided it was time to be a part of Arcola’s Famous Broom Corn Festival Parade. 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.
And now, for the first time, everyone can enjoy the story of The World Famous Lawn Rangers. Pat Monahan, co-founder of the group, has compiled a hilarious collection of newsletters, photos, correspondence and columns which tell this group’s unique story.
Of particular significance was the fact that The Lawn Rangers were able to recruit a nationally syndicated humor columnist and author to their ranks – Dave Barry. Barry first marched with the group at the 1991 Arcola, Illinois Broom Corn Festival, and has since written a number of columns about them over the years.
Most recently, Barry joined the Rangers in Washington, D.C. when they were invited to march in the official 2009 Inaugural Parade for President Barack Obama. Barry’s columns are reprinted here, along with dozens of never-before-published photos and postcards from the private collections of Monahan and his fellow Rangers.
The softcover book, which sells for $14.95 was published by The News-Gazette in Champaign, Illinois. It will be for sale at the Holiday Market at Lincoln Square in Urbana December 4, 11 and 18. Copies are also on sale at The News-Gazette, 15 Main Street, Champaign, Illinois, or online at news-gazette.com/store