Historic Bishop Hill IL invites you to join our 2023 Lucia Nights (Festival of Lights) celebration on Friday December 8 and Saturday December 9 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. Throughout the evening, 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 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 A Sampling of our Samling 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. At the Bishop Hill Fire Station, Barry Cloyd will be performing a variety of music from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., with Coffee Creek performing from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Peoria Cooperative Academy Madrigal Singers will be singing at the Bishop Hill Methodist Church from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. In addition, the Galva High School Choir and Wethersfield Elementary/Jr. High Choir will be going from building-to-building singing Christmas carols. Finally, Josh Christianson and Friends will be singing and leading Christmas Carols outside of J Goard Pottery from 6 to 9 p.m.
Lucia Nights is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Arts Council, Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, VASA National Archives, Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association, Bishop Hill Volunteer Fire Department, and numerous local businesses. This event is also partly funded by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, and American Rescue Plan Funds from Henry County, approved by the Henry County Board. For more details, call 309-927-3899 or email email@example.com.