2017 Schedule of Events for the BHHA and Bishop Hill


PDF of the Bishop Hill Map:  MapBH2016


Listing of 2017 events


April 28 – Valborg

Experience an ancient Swedish traditional bonfire as we welcome spring’s return at the Vasa National Archives. Yard games and activities will be available to the whole family. Hot dogs for roasting, buns, coffee, iced tea, and hot chocolate will be provided. This event is free and open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to bring a dish to share.  6 pm, VASA Museum. 309-927-3898


May 13  Garden Walk Open House at Sweet Annie Primitives

You are invited to join Sweet Annie Primitives for a walk in the garden.  Along way are beeskeps, topiaries, potted herbs and gardenwares, all for your picking.  The shop is filled with cabin goods and needfuls.  You will also find candles and handmades created especially for this wonderful season.  Refreshments will be served in the garden.  10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Call 309 927-3072 for more details.


May 19-21       Quilt Show: Cats, Calico and, Cross-stitch A bedazzling display of color will fill the Colony School. Quilts may be antique, miniature, patchwork, appliqué, or something else. Admission is $5 at the Colony School. Special quilt exhibits will be at the Steeple Building, as well as wheat weaving demonstrations. Additional programs at the Dairy Building. May 19 and 20, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and May 21, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sponsored by the Prairie Queen Quilt Club, Bishop Hill Arts Council, and the Bishop Hill Heritage Association.


May 20  Kite Show




May 19-21      Wheat Weaving Demonstration and Sale



June 3             Workers of the World, Awaken! The Life and Legacy of Joe Hill exhibition opening

This traveling display was created by the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia and will open on Saturday, June 3 in the Steeple Building Museum. Joe Hill, was an early 20th century Swedish-American labor activist, cartoonist, and songwriter, who coined the phrase “pie in the sky.” He was born in Gävle, Sweden, the same port city that many of the early Bishop Hill Colonists sailed from on their way to America. The exhibit will close on September 30, 2017. Sponsored by the BHHA


June 3             Joe Hill concert

As part of the Workers of the World, Awaken! The Life and Legacy of Joe Hill exhibition opening, there will be a free afternoon concert of Joe Hill songs, performed by Bucky Halker.   This free musical performance is sponsored by the BHHA and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Sponsored by the BHHA.


June 11           Honor Flight Benefit This is a fund raising event for the Honor Flight of the Quad Cities. Enjoy music, an auction, and a dinner, all in the Bishop Hill Village Park. 3-6 p.m. Sponsored by the Filling Station. 


June 24           Midsommar Music Festival

Bishop Hill’s Midsommar Music Festival will return Saturday, June 24th 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 Jazz on the Side, Hammer & Pick, Zak and Erin, and Black Hawk Pipes and Drums. Immediately following the Main Stage performances, everyone is invited to decorate the Maypole with flowers and to join the procession. Accordionist Ernie Sandquist will lead the Maypole procession. It will begin in the park and end at the Colony School where visitors can join in the Maypole dancing and have refreshments provided by the Bishop Hill Vasa Lodge. 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 Bishop Hill Heritage Association will also be having its 2nd annual Rubarber Fundraiser. The BHHA will be serving homemade rhubarb baked goods, with coffee and lemonade, at the Steeple Building Museum front porch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds from this fundraiser will be used to support BHHA activities.

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. 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
Zak and Erin                    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.



 June 24          Rabarber Fundraiser.  Enjoy a fresh slice of rhubarb pie as you attend the Midsommar Music Festival.  Located at the Steeple Building Museum, proceeds from this fundraiser will help finance BHHA activities.


July 8              Country Antique Market

Quality antiques including primitives, country, folk art, pottery, and much more are available on the lawn of the Colony School. $6.00 admission. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Sponsored by Sweet Annie Primitives.


July 23            Antique Car Show Antique and classic car show. Registration is from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., judging is from noon – 1:30 p.m. with awards presented at 3 p.m. Sponsored by the Bishop Hill Old Settlers Association.


August 12-13  Bishop Hill Festival of the Arts.

Demonstrations include pottery making and firing, spinning and weaving techniques, and broom making, with wheat weaving in the Steeple Building Museum. Vendors of all different type of art forms will be present. Sponsored by the BHAC.


August 12       Pie in the Park (Pie and Ice Cream Social Fundraiser) Join this fund raiser for the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, held in the Village Park. 1 – 4 p.m.


August 26       Bishop Hill Chautauqua

 Spend the day with several characters from our past. Join us for a historical re-enactment brought to life through storytelling and music. The theme this year is agriculture. Free event held in the village park.

Sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and the Twinflower Inn.


September 9    Old Settlers’ Day This event celebrates the 171st anniversary of the Colony and the 121st year of the Old Settler’s Association. A traditional chicken dinner is served at 11:30 a.m., followed by a band concert at 12:15 p.m., and a program featuring Colony descendants at 1:30 p.m. Sponsored by the BHOSA.


September 10  Colony School Reunion

Former students and teachers from the Colony School and area country schools meet annually to celebrate. 2 – 4 p.m.


Sept. 23-24      Agriculture Days – Jordbruksdagarna

Bishop Hill’s biggest event features traditional 19th century demonstrations, harvest activities, music, dancing, farm produce, stew, antique/primitive vendors, and much, much more. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


October 14-15

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. 309-927-3899.

Nov. 24-26


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. 309-927-3899


Dec. 2-3


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. 309-927-3899


Dec. 8-9

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. 309-927-3899


Dec. 16-17

Customer Appreciation Weekend at the Colony Store. Customers receive 10% off and BHHA members receive 20% off all purchases.


Please call to confirm dates and times. Additional events may be added.