2016 Schedule of Events for the BHHA and Bishop Hill


PDF of the 2016 Bishop Hill Visitors Guide, with all of the 2016 events (courtesy of the Bishop Hill Arts Council):    BHVG2016_WEB

PDF of the 2016 Bishop Hill Map:  MapBH2016

Listing of events that are solely or partly sponsored/supported by the BHHA


Hälsingland: Today and Yesterday exhibition in Steeple Building Museum

In 1846, the Bishop Hill Colonists came from five provinces north of Stockholm. The province of Hälsingland provided the largest population that left their homeland for the Bishop Hill Colony. This new exhibition, entitled Hälsingland: Today and Yesterday, describes the history and culture of this province.   Life size images of a few of those brave Hälsingland Colonists will greet visitors as they enter the Steeple Building Museum.  In the Yesterday room, Life from the early Bishop Hill Colony days is exhibited, as well as the Gold Rush participation.  A reproduction of the Hälsingland Regiment flag is on display with the names of the Hälsingland men who were in the military in Sweden.

The Today room of the exhibition shows guests what crafts are still active in Hälsingland.  Linens from the village of Vaxbo, jewelry from a silversmith in Segersta, wood working, metal items, and pottery are all on display. Swedish royalty is touched upon, as well as Hälsingland entertainers and artists.  In addition, the villages of Delsbo and Mo have antique folk dresses on display, on loan from the Swedish American Museum in Chicago.

This is an exhibit that everyone will enjoy, Swedish or not!  The official exhibit opening is on Bishop Hill’s Midsommar Music Festival, June 18th, 2016.  This exhibition was created for the Bishop Hill Heritage Association by Cheryl Dowel and Kerstin Lane. The exhibit will close on October 1, 2016. For more details, please call 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net.


August 27 and 28

Bishop Hill Chautauqua

Located in the park, storytellers will portray historical figures. This year’s theme is immigration and migration. Schedule is below:

Saturday Aug. 27

10-12 Workshop with Tersi Bendiburg and Brian “Fox” Ellis: Storytelling with Young Children

1:00 Brian “Fox” Ellis: An Irish Immigrant’s Tale

2:15 Recent Immigrant experiences by Souhail Elhouar PhD., Tunisian, Bradley University Professor and Tersi Bendiberg: A Cuban Storyteller

3:30 Sherri Mitchell as Swedish Nightingale Jenny Lind

Sunday  Aug. 28

1:00 Sarah Uthoff as Laura Ingalls Wilder, Western Emmigration

2:15 Local Students Perform!

3:30 Brian “Fox” Ellis as Jonas Olson: One of Bishop Hill’s Founders







Sept. 24-25


Celebrating Bishop Hill’s agrarian heritage, this event features traditional 19th century harvest activities, music, dancing, and farm produce.  New attractions this year will be the Settlers Harvest (a gathering of proprietors selling early country antiques, primitives, and handcrafted goods in the village park), live music behind the Bjorklund Hotel, and blacksmithing demonstrations in the park.

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.




October 22-23, Steeple Building Museum

Collectors Weekend

For one weekend only at the Steeple Building Museum, antique and vintage items of all shapes, sizes, and topics will be exhibited by local collectors for display only. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Nov. 25-27


Christmas Market. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Swedish folk characters roam the village. Swedish food specialties, folk arts, and antiques.

Christmas Cookie Walk. Select from a large array of holiday cookies,homemade by community bakers at the Colony School on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Dec. 3-4


Christmas Market. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Traditionally decorated shops and museums. Encounter Swedish folk characters. Swedish foods, unique gifts, and more.

Chocolate Walk. Saturday and Sunday select from homemade chocolate delicacies for your holiday enjoyment. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Dec. 9-10

Lucia Nights

Coffee and sweet items are served in shops and museums by “Lucias.” Special music at various village locations. 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.