You don’t have to say “Jordbruksdagarna” to know what it means: food, music, dancing, games, crafts, and much more at Bishop Hill. The annual fall festival (pronounced yord-brooks-DAH-ga-na) takes place Saturday September 29 and Sunday September 30, 2018. As always, there will be a variety of traditional craft demonstrations in the village park during the 47th Jordbruksdagarna (Swedish for “earth work days”). Artisans will make rope, process flax, carve wood, forge metal, and more. Vendors will also sell farm produce, pumpkins, pioneer popcorn, and more in the park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

At the Bjorklund Hotel from noon to 4 p.m. each day, there will be demonstrations on how to press and cook sorghum and bake hard tack. Visitors can try their hand at shelling corn, making bricks, pressing cider, and making a cornhusk doll.

Performances in the park include Hammer and Pick at noon and 2 p.m., and the Nordic Dancers at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. The Burns Boosters 4-H club will host a petting zoo both Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Old-fashioned children’s games will also be conducted in the park at 2 p.m. each day. By the children’s games, the VASA Archives will have a seed saving activity for the kids as well.

On both days, people movers will be available to transport people around town to experience many of the activities, museums, and stores. Visitors can explore Henry County’s agricultural heritage at the Henry County Historical Museum, where a variety of antique tractors and implements will be displayed outdoors. At 3 p.m. each day, a Storyteller’s Tour of Bishop Hill by Brian “Fox” Ellis will start at the Commons.

Also on Saturday only, two vintage baseball games will be played between the Springfield Long Nine and the Chicago Salmon, with the first game starting at 11:30 a.m. at the baseball diamond. In addition, the musical duet Mockingbird will perform from 1 to 3 p.m. behind the Bjorklund Hotel. Historian, author and actor Brian “Fox” Ellis, in character as John Deere, will cover a century of agricultural history at 11 a.m. at the park gazebo.

On Sunday only at 11 a.m., Johan Johansson will be performing a concert at the Steeple Building Museum Johan is a Swedish singer and songwriter from Uppsala. He will be singing songs about Swedish history. At 4 p.m., the BHHA will be conducting a public dedication of the Spets Stuga, a children’s playhouse with a pioneer theme.

And, of course, food will be in abundance. The Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association will serve “Colony stew” and rice pudding in the park. The Bishop Hill Heritage Association will be serving Svensk Varm Korv, Swedish hotdogs and pork burgers by the Colony Store 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. Don’t forget to check out the Bishop Hill Bakery & Eatery, The Filling Station, and P.L. Johnson’s Dining Room for additional food choices.

For more details, call 309 927-3899, email or check out

Jordbruksdagarna is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, Bishop Hill Arts Council, Old Settler’s Association. VASA National Archives, Bishop Hill Volunteer Fire Department and numerous local businesses, with the assistance of many volunteers. The event is also partly funded by the, Illinois Art Council Agency, Nelson Farm Service, State Bank of Toulon, TerraForm Power, Bill and Susan Sherrard Foundation, and the Henry County Independent Insurance Agents Association.