Listed below are 2016 events that the BHHA will be solely or partly sponsoring.  More programs will be added later.  These events are also listed in the Calendar section of the website:

April 2/3 (Spring Jubilee), Steeple Building Museum

Toy Tractor Weekend

Toy tractor collectors and enthusiasts will be out in force in Bishop Hill on April 2 and 3 to see a variety of John Deere, Case, and International Harvester toy tractors and farm implements. Local collectors will be displaying their treasures for just one weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.  Over one hundred toy tractors and implements of all shapes, sizes, and brands will be exhibited at the Steeple Building Museum, located at 103 North Bishop Hill Street.  These items are not for sale. 


April 9, 2 p.m. Dairy Building

Windjammers, Sternwheelers, and Tin-Stackers: Working Waterways of Illinois program

Using folk songs to tell the story of commerce on the rivers, canals, and Lake Michigan’s shoreline in Illinois, Lee Murdock traces the rise of shipping in our state, from the keelboats of the nineteenth century to today’s 1000-foot lake freighters.

In old songs and new, Murdock sings of lake schooners hauling grain and iron ore, famous river packets delivering their goods and passengers, and the canal boatmen who navigated across the Illinois prairie.  He speaks to the shift in shipping technology from sailing craft to steam-powered vessels.  He tells of heroic deeds, comical characters, and the beauty of our state’s waterways.

Lee Murdock sings and speaks the language of the river rats and schooner-men, the lighthouse keepers and fisher-folk, the modern-day sailor and the environmentalist


May 21 and 22

Vintage Baseball Weekend

 To celebrate Bishop Hill’s baseball roots, the BHHA is organizing a weekend of 19th century baseball.  On Saturday, three 1850’s baseball teams, the Oregon Ganymedes, the Springfield Long Nine, and the Somonauk Blue Stockings will play games all day. Bill Owens, author of The Scorecard, will present a program about his book.  A special baseball exhibit will be on display at the Steeple Building Museum.  More activities are on the way.


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.

John Hallwas, a literary scholar and teacher, 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 18

Midsommar Music Festival

Celebrate the summer solstice with music. Concerts in the village park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. by Black Hawk Pipes and Drums, Jazz on the Side, and Hammer and Pick. Maypole decorating and procession at 4 p.m. Barn dance at 7 p.m.


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 village par, 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.