Prepare for the holidays by attending Julmarknad, or Christmas Market, in Bishop Hill. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 26, November 27, and December 4. On November 28 and December 5, the hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The attractions include Swedish folk characters, traditional Swedish holiday decorations, holiday music, a storytelling Santa, craft activities, 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, looking through windows, and peeking around corners in their red and grey outfits. Guests will also enjoy the Julbock, the Christmas Goat. This trickster from Scandinavian nations entertains young and old with its antics. A working model railroad will also be in the Steeple Building Museum, with a Christmas display. At the Bishop Hill State Museum each day, participate in the Olof Krans Paintings Scavenger Hunt. Tim Pletkovich, author of Nuns, Nazis, and Notre Dame, will be doing a book signing both weekends.
In addition, on Friday, November 26, the Vasa National Archives will have Dala Horse Take and Make Kits available to take home. Each kit has a horse, three colors of paint, and two brushes. Kits are $5 each. Supplies are limited and visitors can reserve them by calling 309 927-3898. Also at the Vasa National Archives, participate at the Make and Take Dala Horse Station where people can paint their Dala Horses in the basement and let them dry while shopping and exploring Bishop Hill. Dala Horses are $5 each and painting is free. The 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, cookie baking will be done in the historic Bjorklund Hotel kitchen from 1 to 3 p.m.
On Saturday, November 27, the Cookie Walk will continue at the Colony School. At the Vasa National Archives, the Make and Take Dala Horse Station will continue. Mary Davidsaver, author of Shadows Over Bishop Hill, will be doing a book signing at the Prairie Arts Center. Cookie baking will continue at the Bjorklund Hotel kitchen. Saturday is also Small Business Saturday, so please support your local economy and shop the small businesses of historic Bishop Hill.
On Sunday, November 28, Cookie baking will continue at the Bjorklund Hotel kitchen from 1 to 3 p.m. Participate at the Make and Take Dala Horse Station at the VNA, where people can paint their Dala Horse. Dala Horses are $5 each and painting is free.
On Saturday December 4 only, Mary Davidsaver, author of Shadows Over Bishop Hill, will be doing a book signing at the Prairie Arts Center. The Commons will host a visit from Santa Claus, with storytelling starting at 10 a.m. and a photo opportunity to follow. There will also be a sock tomte-making workshop throughout the afternoon at the Commons. Then, starting at 5 p.m., Bishop Hill will have its first Julmarknad Christmas Parade with camels, horses, and much more. This parade will go through downtown Bishop Hill.
On both Saturday December 4 and Sunday December 5, children are invited to make edible tree ornaments at the Bjorklund Hotel from 1 to 3 p.m. Peanuts will be used. These ornaments may be taken home, or left at the Hotel to be placed on the Bishop Hill Park’s Christmas tree during the tree lighting on Lucia Nights. Visitors can also participate at the Make and Take Dala Horse Station at the Vasa National Archives. A Chocolate Walk will also be held both days with the location TBD. Purchase quality homemade chocolates by the pound.
For more information about Julmarknad activities, please call 309-927-3899 or visit www.visitbishophill.com. Julmarknad events are sponsored, in part, by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.