Bishop Hill invites you to join our 2021 Lucia Nights celebration on Friday December 10 and Saturday December 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. This Swedish tradition is based on a legend of Saint Lucia, Queen of Light. During a famine in Sweden, on the longest and darkest night of the year, Lucia appeared wearing a long white robe and encircling her head was a crown of candles. Legend has it that Lucia appeared on a ship laden with food. When the ship was unloaded, both it and Lucia vanished. Girls in Sweden today wake their families on December 13th carrying a tray of Lucia buns while dressed in a white robe and wearing a crown of candles.
Lucia Nights begins in Bishop Hill with the Lighting of the Park Christmas tree at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 10, with music provided by the Peoria Cooperative Academy Madrigal Singers. The public is invited to bring edible ornaments to hang on the tree. Businesses and museums will have Lucia Girls to greet guests. Around the village, each building will have a single candle in each and every window, and sidewalks will also be illuminated by candles. Restaurants are open both evenings. Special Christmas gifts will be on sale.
On both evenings, Bishop Hill will be hosting a wide variety of free Christmas activities. At the Fire Station, the Peoria Cooperative Academy Madrigal Singers will be performing each night at 6:15 p.m., followed by Jazz on the Side at 7:30 p.m. At the Steeple Building Museum, Hammer and Pick will be playing a variety of Christmas and folk music from 6 to 9 p.m. The VASA National Archives will have a closing reception for their Local Lodge Names exhibit. Also at the Archives, storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis will share a medley of Swedish and Pioneer Christmas stories and songs from 6 to 8 p.m. In addition, the Bishop Hill Community United Methodist Church will host its annual Soup and Chili Supper, beginning at 4:00 p.m. A free-will donation is appreciated to cover the cost of the meal. Finally, the Colony Church will have Lucia and Tomte Selfie stations.
Lucia Nights is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Arts Council, Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, Old Settlers’ Association. VASA National Archives, Bishop Hill Volunteer Fire Department, and numerous local businesses. This event is also partly funded by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. For more details, call 309-927-3899 or view www.visitbishophill.com.