ARCOLA — A new musical performance and more food and craft vendors will highlight the 48th annual Arcola Broom Corn Festival.

The traditional weekend-after-Labor Day celebration begins Friday with activities that include the popular National Broom Sweeping Contest at 4 p.m.

Contestants will once again compete to see how much broom corn seed they can sweep through a maze in a limited amount of time. It's one of several ways the festival recognizes the city's history of broom manufacturing.

A 3 p.m. ceremony Friday will recognize longtime Arcola physician Ramon Climaco as the festival's parade grand marshal.

Also at 4 p.m. Friday, the results of a craft broom making contest will be announced and the festival's beer and wine tent will open in its new pavilion location on Oak Street near Main Street.

On Saturday, a concert at 5 p.m. will feature a performance by Christian recording artist Aaron Shust on the Oak Street stage.

The Saturday evening concert is new to the festival, organizer Loretta Coartney said. The addition was to feature more activities taking place once the festival parade concludes, she said.

The parade is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday and include the regular appearance by Arcola's Lawn Rangers Precision Lawn Mower Drill Team.

Coartney said the parade will take its traditional route and can be viewed along the route in all locations except for a section of closed sidewalk in the city's downtown.

She also said it "seems like each year we gain" more vendors, largely by word-of-mouth, and more are expected this year.

For a complete Broom Corn Festival schedule, visit the Arcola Chamber of Commerce at arcolachamber.com.

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