By TIM MITCHELL
ARCOLA — Arcola calls itself “the amazing little town with heart.”
This Douglas County community marks the entrance to Illinois Amish Country. Rural Arcola is the home of Rockome Gardens, a theme park that celebrates the local Amish heritage with buggy rides, train rides, crafts and other attractions.
Known as the “broom corn capital of the world,” Arcola hosts the annual Broom Corn Festival each year on the weekend following Labor Day. The city continues to have ties to the broom corn and broom industry, hosting companies such as the Thomas Monahan Company and the Libman Company.
Arcola also is the birthplace of Johnny Gruelle, the creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy, both of whom were enshrined in the National Toy Hall of Fame.
The Douglas County community is also the home of the Lawn Rangers, a group of lawn mower enthusiasts who toss and twirl their brooms at parades around the country. In 2009 the Lawn Rangers performed in President Barack Obama’s inauguration parade.
Many visitors also come to Arcola to visit shops along the city’s original downtown brick streets. The shops feature antiques, hand-crafted Amish furniture, arts and locally made Amish baked items.
Under construction on Arcola’s east side is Green Mill Village, a 60-acre hotel, conference center, spa, resort and retail complex.
Mayor: Larry Ferguson, 801 N Locust St., 268-4966, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alderperson: Terry Foran, address and phone not provided.
Alderperson: Glenn Gentry, address and phone not provided.
Alderperson: Jason Goad: 116 S. Jacques St., 268-4301 ,
Alderperson: Sue Key, address and phone not provided.
Alderperson: Kendall Moore, address and phone not provided.
Alderperson: Randy Williams, 219 S. Walnut St., 268-4326
City Administrator: Bill Wagoner, 268-4695, Arcolaemail@example.com