Mark your calendars!  On Saturday and Sunday, August 12th & 13th, the Bishop Hill Festival of the Arts is coming to historic Bishop Hill, Illinois.  This first annual event, sponsored by the Bishop Hill Arts Council, features music, plein-air painting (art created “in the open air”), hands-on activities for kids, an arts and craft show and much, much more!

On Saturday, the Bishop Hill Heritage Association will be hosting their annual Pie at the Steeple fundraiser beginning at 12  noon, featuring a variety of homemade pies available for purchase by the piece.  During the day, an “Antique Alley” will be set up next to Sweet Annie’s, with eight different vendors selling their primitive wares.  Also on Saturday, a soup supper will be held at PL Johnson’s Restaurant at 5:30 pm.  Soup and bread are included and attendees also get to keep the handmade bowl that the soup is served in!  Tickets are limited and may be purchased in advance at The Colony Store or Hantverk Galleri (or at the information booth on Saturday). Plan to end the evening with a Backyard Concert at the Twinflower Inn, featuring Preston Jackson and Friends, with solos by vocalist Judy Page.  Concert begins at 7pm.

On both Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm, an arts and crafts show will be held next to the Steeple Building and plein-air painters (including portrait painters) will be working in the park and throughout town.  During both days, VASA is sponsoring a hands-on kids’ activity, Natural Dyeing, at the Archives building.

Children of all ages can try their hand at sun prints or paper marbling in the park from 10-noon and again from 1-3 pm.  After lunch, there will be music in the park as well, featuring a variety of performers.  For those attendees looking for something more physical, “A Historical Hike: A Storyteller’s Tour of Bishop Hill,” hosted by Brian “Fox” Ellis, is also scheduled both days (11am and 4pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday).

With so much to see and do, what better way is there to savor summer than spending the day enjoying art in beautiful Bishop Hill !  And the best part?  This event is FREE and open to the public!