2016 Schedule of Events for the BHHA and Bishop Hill


PDF of the 2016 Bishop Hill Visitors Guide, with 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


June 11, 2 p.m. Dairy Building

Poet of Community and Human Struggle: Carl Sandburg program

A hundred years ago, our state produced what was arguably the first great literary development in America that was not centered on the East Coast: the “Chicago Renaissance.” The most celebrated new poets of this “Chicago Renaissance” were Illinoisans, and they produced the best-known volumes of poetry in our state’s history.

Carl Sandburg launched his poetic career with the publication of his powerful collection, Chicago Poems, in 1916. It was a tradition-shattering book, written in free verse and focused substantially on city life.  It revealed the poet’s empathetic identification with the lives of ordinary people, who were often struggling.  He was a witness to harsh, urban realities.

Dr. John Hallwas, a literary scholar and professor from Western Illinois University, has published editions of Chicago Poems and has spoken in more than 100 Illinois communities. He introduces audiences to the poetry of Sandburg contained in their two famous books published a century ago using a lively lecture-with-readings presentation.


June 12, 3-7 p.m., Village Park

Honor Flight Benefit

Honor Flight returns to Bishop Hill Sunday, June 12th, 3-7 p.m. with the community raising funds to send area veterans to Washington, D.C. Fortunate veterans who are chosen will visit memorials dedicated to honoring their sacrifices.

In the last five years, the community has raised more than $70,000 for the Quad Cities Chapter of the Honor Flight Network. Area veterans will be provided with a free trip to visit their memorial with priority given to survivors of World War II, Korean War, and any veteran with a terminal illness. Honor Flight Quad Cities operates on donations from organizations and individuals. Representatives from the Honor Flight organization will be there to answer questions and to accept applications.

The schedule begins with the Barbecue Rib dinner at 3 p.m. in the village park. Also, at 3 p.m., motorcycle riders can join up with the Illinois Patriot Guard and Legion Riders at the Galva American Legion and help them escort the flag to Bishop Hill. At 3:30 pm, the Illinois Patriot Guard and Legion Riders and other motorcyclists will arrive; at 4 pm, there will be an Invocation and then the Presentation of Colors by area VFW and American Legion groups. There will be several speakers, including Representative Donald L. Moffitt from the 74th District and an Honor Flight representative. Shelley Kinzer of Bishop Hill will be providing patriotic music. Local Bishop Hill story teller Brian “Fox” Ellis will also perform. Live auction provided by Stenzel Auction Service. Auction items include an official Chicago Cubs umbrella, toy tractors from local dealers, gift baskets as well as locally made quilts, pottery, pies, and other items. There will be a military retreat at 1800 hours exactly (6 pm) with a 21-gun salute and taps. Golf cart shuttle services, provided by Cambridge Cart, are provided from the edge of the park. For more information, call 927-3355.

The Honor Flight Benefit will feature a Barbcue Rib dinner with potato salad and all the fixins prepared by the Filling Station Restaurant and the Bishop Hill Community Club. Serving will begin at 3 p.m. and will be held in the village park. Seating is available but be sure to bring lawn chairs.

Planned activities also include a live auction. Auction items still are needed! Call Linda Spring at (309) 927-3355.

The benefit is being organized by the Filling Station Restaurant. All proceeds from the day’s events will be donated to Honor Flight of the Quad Cities. If anyone wishes to make a donation, volunteer, or need more information call the above number.


June 18, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Midsommar Music Festival

Bishop Hill’s Midsommar Music Festival will return Saturday, June 18th with a strong line-up of musical performers. Highlights of this all-day event include Main Stage performances, a Swedish Maypole celebration, and an Old-Fashioned Barn Dance.

The free Main Stage performances in the village park gazebo will begin at 11:30 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. This year’s lineup includes the Big River Reeltime Band, Jazz on the Side, Hammer & Pick, and Black Hawk Pipes and Drums. After the Main Stage performances are completed, the Maypole will be decorated with flowers. Everyone is then invited to join the Maypole procession. Accordionist Ernie Sandquist will lead the procession. It will begin in the park and end at the Colony School where visitors can join in the Maypole dancing and have refreshments. Later that evening, there will be a barn dance at the Colony School with The Rusty Pickup String Band and caller Gail Hintze. Admission to the barn dance is $5 per person.

The Midsommar Music Festival is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Arts Council, co-sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, Bishop Hill Old Settler’s Association, Bishop Hill Vasa Lodge #683, and area businesses. This project is supported by Quad City Art Dollar$. Donations are welcome. For directions and more info, visit www.bishophill.com, call 309-927-3899, or email bhha@mymctc.net.



Schedule for the day includes the following on the Main Stage in the center of the park in front of the gazebo: 

             – MAIN STAGE -

Black Hawk Pipes & Drums                  11:30 am


Hammer & Pick              1 pm


Jazz on the Side              2 pm

Big River Reeltime Band 3 pm


***Maypole dressing begins at 4 pm and procession to the Colony    School begins just after it is dressed.


Barn Dance at the Colony School with The Rusty Pickup String Band – 7 pm. All dances called and taught by veteran caller Ms. Gail Hintze. No experience needed. Admission to the dance is $5 per person.


July 30 and 31

Bishop Hill Folk Music Festival

Located in the village park, this 2 day concert bring in some of the best known folk music performers from around the Midwest, such as Bucky Halker, Chris Vallillo, Bohola, Chicago Spemanslag, Bill Robinson, and more.


August 13 and 14

Clay and Fiber Fest

Pottery and textiles weekend. Demonstrations include pottery making and broom making. Hands-on activities include spinning and weaving. Enjoy a soup supper and ice cream social on the 13th.

In addition, on both days, there will be a 1000 AD Nordic Market conducted by historical reenactors from Micel Folcland. Come experience the early Middle Ages by visiting this Scandinavian encampment.


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. 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.