Prepare for the holidays by attending Julmarknad, or Christmas Market, in Bishop Hill, IL.  Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.on December 4, 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.

On Saturday December 4 only, Lilly Setterdahl, author of Bishop Hill Reframed, will be doing a book signing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Steeple Building Museum.  Mary Davidsaver, author of Shadows Over Bishop Hill, will also 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 and around the village park.

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 at the Colony School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Purchase quality homemade chocolates by the pound.  Tim Pletkovich, author of Nuns, Nazis, and Notre Dame, will be doing a book signing Saturday at the Colony Store and Sunday at P.L. Johnson’s.

For more information about Julmarknad activities, please call 309-927-3899 or visit  Julmarknad events are sponsored, in part, by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.