Arcola is a city in the central part of the state of Illinois. The population was 2,652 at the 2000 census. The city was founded in 1855, when the Illinois Central Railroad was built through the county. The railroad itself was responsible for surveying, platting, and founding the town.
From the north, take I-57 to exit 203, which is approximately 25 miles south of Champaign. From the south, Arcola is 12 miles north of Mattoon on I-57.
Arcola is somewhat famous for the Lawn Rangers, a "precision lawn mower drill team" that marches in formation with brooms and lawn mowers while wearing cowboy hats. Every year since 1980 the Lawn Rangers have marched in the Arcola Broomcorn Festival Parade. The event, held every year the weekend after Labor Day, honors Arcola's position in the late nineteenth century as a center of broom corn production. This unique custom was publicized by humor columnist Dave Barry, who marched with the Lawn Rangers in 1995 and has written columns about them.
In the countryside near Arcola is a prominent community of Old Order Amish, the largest in Illinois.