Bishop Hill will be having a St. Lucia Celebration on Friday December 11 and Saturday December 12 all day until 9 p.m. This celebration is in honor of one of the most popular Swedish holidays, Lucia Nights. 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. This holiday is also called the Festival of Lights.

Businesses and restaurants will be open all day and into the evening hours for your shopping, eating, and viewing pleasure. Around the village, each building will have a single candle in every window, and sidewalks will be illuminated with candles. The park Christmas tree will be lighted. The VASA Archive will have Paint Your Own Dala Horse kits for sale at $5 each and 20% off all other gift shop items. Special Christmas gifts will be on sale throughout the village, and holiday decorations will be on full display.

Due to COVID-19, we do ask our guests to please social distance. Our businesses do require masks indoors and have capacity limits. In addition, due to the changing nature of the pandemic, there is the possibility that additional modifications might be made to the St. Lucia Celebration. So please check before visiting.

For more information about the 2020 St. Lucia Celebration activities, please call 309-927-3899, email, or visit Information will also be posted on various Facebook pages including the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and the Bishop Hill Arts Council Facebook pages. St. Lucia Celebration events are sponsored, in part, by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.