Snuggled in the middle of pristine farm lands, tourist shops, restaurants, and all that is Amish is Arcola, Illinois. Arcola is home to the largest population of Old Order Amish in the state. You can learn about the Old Order Amish at the Illinois Amish Interpretive Center, and also by picking up books on this particular order of Amish, and by talking to locals.
If your visit to Arcola happens to take place in September, you’ll want to be sure to attend the annual Broom Corn Festival. Just completing its 45th year, the Broom Corn Festival is a favorite among tourists.
Enjoy beautiful gardens? There are seven of them waiting for you at Rockome Gardens theme park, which also features unique art by local artisans celebrating traditions of centuries past.
If you owned a Raggedy Ann doll, you’ll want to visit the rest of her family at the Raggedy Ann Doll Collection in Arcola. Train buffs can visit the Arcola Depot, which was built in 1885.
If you remember the 1960’s, you might enjoy visiting Arcola’s own Hippie Memorial. Created by Bob Mooman, it features Bob’s art, along with his writings which are written on the outside of his buildings. This unique piece of art stretches for 62-feet and is something you won’t see anywhere else.
And what’s a visit to Amish country without attending an auction? Arcola has plenty of them! From their wagon/buggy auctions held twice a year, to pony auctions, to farm toy and memorabilia auctions, there’s nothing you can’t find to buy in Arcola. And you’ll get a good price on it, too.
The Green Mill Village Theater is currently presenting Half-Stitched, the Musical, based on Wanda Brunstetter’s New York Times bestselling book. This hit musical, full of both comedy and drama, is being brought to the Green Mill Village stage by the team of Dan Posthuma, Wally Nason, and Martha Bolton. This is the same creative team behind The Confession Musical, Josiah for President, and their upcoming new musicals, Our Christmas Dinner and The Home Game.
Coming to Green Mill Village Theater in 2016 will be Josiah for President, based on the novel by Martha Bolton, with script by Martha Bolton and music by Wally Nason. Our Christmas Dinner, based on a story by Wally Nason, and written by Wally Nason and Martha Bolton, will also debut in Arcola in 2016. Mel Riegsecker is Executive Producer of the Blue Gate Musicals, Dan Posthuma is the Producer. For tickets, please go to the Green Mill Village Theater website or www.bluegatemusicals.com.
Whatever you’re looking for in Amish country, Arcola, Illinois has it. So start planning your visit today! Arcola is more than ready to give you a good old-fashioned Illinois welcome! Hope to see you there soon!
Enter to win a copy of Josiah for President below!
Martha Bolton is the author of 87 books, including her newest, Josiah for President, which has now been adapted into a play. She was a staff writer for Bob Hope for fifteen years, and received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Music and Lyrics. She has also written for dozens of comedians and entertainers, including Phyllis Diller, Wayne Newton, and Mark Lowry. Her popular series of books for middle-agers (Didn’t My Skin Used to Fit?, Cooking With Hot Flashes, and others) have addressed the subject of growing older in a fun and fresh way.
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