Prepare for the holidays by attending Julmarknad, or Christmas Market, in Bishop Hill. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 25, November 26 and December 3. On November 27 and December 4, the hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The attractions include Swedish folk characters, traditional Swedish holiday decorations, and Christmas gifts for sale. All our shops, museums, and restaurants will be open to satisfy your holiday needs. See Tomten, our Swedish elves, roam through the town, shaking hands with tourists, looking through windows, and peeking around corners in their red and grey outfits. A working model railroad and woodcarving demonstrations will be in the Steeple Building Museum. Finally, Frau Blucker’s will be hosting Tim Pletkovich, author of Civil War Fathers, each and every day of Julmarknad. His book will be available to purchase and Mr. Pletkovich will be happy to autograph your copy.

In addition, on Friday, November 25, Old World Santa Claus will visit with children at the VASA National Archives. Cameras are welcomed. While visiting with Santa, help the Vasa National Archives make a paper mache Dala Horse from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests will be adding layers of paper mache to the Dala Horse. This is a community project that is open to children of all ages. A Cookie Walk will be held at the Colony School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Homemade cookies and other baked goods can be purchased by the pound. Finally, Sweet Annie Primitives will be having their Christmas Open House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Saturday, November 26, the Cookie Walk will continue at the Colony School. The Paper Mache Dala Horse project will continue at the VASA National Archives from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with painting occurring as well. Cookie baking will be done in the 1860’s Bjorklund Hotel kitchen. Sample freshly baked cookies from 1 to 3 p.m. The Prairie Arts Center will host a book signing for Clouds Over Bishop Hill, written by Mary Davidsaver, from 1 to 4 p.m. Finally, Prairie Folklore Theater’s production of Murder and Mischief at Santa’s Workshop will take place at P.L. Johnson’s at 5:00 p.m.  Tickets, which are $40 per person and includes dinner, can be bought online at   For more info about this Bishop Hill Arts Council fundraiser, please call 309-696-0956.

On Sunday, November 27, Mary Davidsaver will return to the Prairie Arts Center for readings and discussions about her latest novel, Clouds Over Bishop Hill.

On both Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4, children are invited to make edible tree ornaments at the Bjorklund Hotel from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  These ornaments may be taken home, or left at the Site to be placed on the Bishop Hill Park’s Christmas tree during the tree lighting on Lucia Nights.  A Chocolate Walk will also be held at the Dairy Building.  Purchase quality chocolates by the pound from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The Prairie Arts Center will again host a book signing for Clouds Over Bishop Hill, written by Mary Davidsaver, from 1 to 4 p.m.

For more information about Julmarknad activites, please call 309-927-3899.  Julmarknad events are sponsored, in part, by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.