Bishop Hill’s annual 19th century harvest festival Jordbruksdagarna (pronounced yord-brooks-DAH-ga-na) will take place Saturday September 23 and Sunday September 24, 2023. As always, there will be a variety of traditional craft demonstrations, food, vendors, and hands-on activities for the children during the 51st Jordbruksdagarna (Swedish for “earth work days”) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Demonstrations, hands-on activities, play, and music are all free.
In the village park, artisans will make rope, process flax, carve wood, forge metal, make butter, and more. Vendors will also be selling farm produce, pumpkins, herbs, baked goods, crafts, and much more in the park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Musical performances will include Hammer and Pick at noon and 2 p.m., and the Nordic Dancers at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day at the gazebo. There will be a petting zoo located in the northwest corner of the park as well.
Jordbruksdagarna is not just located in the park but all over Bishop Hill. At the Colony School, the Old Settlers’ Association will be serving their famous Colony Stew from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Uncle Bud Apple Cider Slushie and Pop of the Morning will be next to the Carpenter Building serving food and drinks. Behind the Bjorklund Hotel from noon to 4 p.m. each day, visitors, especially children, can try their hand at shelling corn, making bricks, pressing apples into cider, and creating a cornhusk doll. Music will be provided by the Templetons from 1 to 3 p.m. each day behind the Hotel. Visitors can explore Henry County’s agricultural heritage at the Henry County Historical Museum, where a variety of antique tractors and implements will be on display outdoors. Each day at the Henry County Historical Museum, the Bishop Hill Agricultural Association will do demonstrations, have an antique tractor parade around town at noon, and conduct a kid pedal tractor pull at 1 p.m. Author Mary Davidsaver will have a book signing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Prairie Arts Center. Tractor people movers will also be available to transport people around town to experience many of the activities, museums, and stores that Bishop Hill has to offer.
On Saturday September 23 only, professional story teller Brian “Fox” Ellis will perform as John Deere, inventor of the steel plow, at the park gazebo at 10 a.m. Following that free performance, the BHHA Acting Troupe will perform their Bishop Hill Colony history skit To America at the Steeple Building starting at 11 a.m. In the southwest corner of the park, TriCo Equestrian Center will have pony rides from noon to 3 p.m. Finally, the Bishop Hill Methodist Church will be having a bake sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. by the Steeple Building.
For more details about Jordbruksdagarna activities, call 309 927-3899, email firstname.lastname@example.org, check the Bishop Hill Heritage Association Facebook page, or view www.visitbishophill.com. Jordbruksdagarna is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, Bishop Hill Arts Council, the Bishop Hill Agricultural Association, Old Settlers’ Association. VASA National Archives, Bishop Hill Volunteer Fire Department and numerous local businesses, with the assistance of many volunteers. The event is also partly funded by the Illinois Art Council Agency, Nature’s Creations, State Bank of Toulon, Brookfield Renewable Energy, Wilbur and Marilyn Nelson, River Valley Cooperative, Peck Farms, and the Henry County Independent Insurance Agents Association. WJRE is our major media sponsor. The Cambridge FFA, Galva FFA, and Galva Boy Scouts provided special assistance, along with many other volunteers.