You don’t have to say “Jordbruksdagarna” to know what it means: food, music, dancing, games, and crafts at Bishop Hill. The annual fall festival (pronounced yord-brooks-DAH-ga-na) takes place Saturday September 26 and Sunday September 27, 2015.
The Bishop Hill Heritage Association will host a variety of traditional craft demonstrations in the village park during the 44th Jordbruksdagarna (Swedish for “earth work days”). Artisans will make rope, craft barrels, process flax, create wood carvings, and more. Vendors will sell farm produce, pumpkins, pioneer popcorn, and much more in the park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
At the Bjorklund Hotel from noon to 4 p.m. each day, there will be demonstrations on how to press and cook sorghum and bake hard tack. Visitors can try their hand at shelling corn, making bricks, pressing cider, and making a corn husk doll.
Performances in the park include Hammer and Pick at noon and 2 p.m., and the Nordic Dancers at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. The Burns Boosters 4-H club will host a petting zoo both Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Old fashioned children’s games will also be conducted in the park at 2 p.m. each day.
Visitors can explore Henry County’s agricultural at the Henry County Historical Museum, where a variety of antique tractors and implements will be displayed. The museum will also be the location of demonstrations on plowing and shelling corn both days of the event from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. There will also be an antique tractor parade starting at 12:30 p.m. each day as well.
Of course, food will be in abundance. The Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association will serve “Colony stew” and rice pudding in the park. The Bishop Hill Heritage Association’s Svenska Varm Korv, or Swedish hotdog dinner, will be served by Colony Store 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. The Henry County Historical Society is having a bake sale both days at the Henry County Historical Museum. Also, the Bishop Hill Arts Council is having a bake sale at the Welcome Center both Saturday and Sunday.
Jordbruksdagarna is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the Bishop Hill Arts Council, 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, Nelson Farm Service, State Bank of Toulon, Bishop Hill Invenergy, and the Henry County Independent Insurance Agents Association.