Prepare for the holidays by attending Julmarknad, or Christmas Market, in Bishop Hill, IL. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November 25, November 26, and December 3.  On November 27 and December 4, the hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The daily attractions include Swedish folk characters, traditional Swedish holiday decorations, holiday music, 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.  A working model railroad will also be in the Steeple Building Museum, with a Christmas display.  The Vasa National Archives will have Take Home Dala Horse Kits available to purchase.  Each kit has a horse, three colors of paint, and two brushes.  Kits are $5 each.  Supplies are limited and visitors can reserve them by calling 309 927-3898.   In addition, visitors to the Vasa National Archives can participate at the Make and Take Dala Horse Station where people can paint their Dala Horses in the basement and let them dry while shopping and exploring Bishop Hill.  Dala Horses are $5 each and painting is free.  The Peasant Works will once again be having a traditional Scandinavian photo op stand at the 1882 Poppy Barn for visitors and also free make and take for the kids.

On Friday November 25 only, the Cookie Walk will be held at the Colony School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Homemade cookies and other baked goods can be purchased by the pound.  The Bishop Hill Methodist Church will be conducting an Advent Workshop where families can make Advent Wreaths to take home.  Finally, cookie baking will be done in the historic Bjorklund Hotel kitchen from 1 to 3 p.m.

On Saturday November 26 only, the Cookie Walk will continue at the Colony School.  Author Lilly Setterdahl, author of Until the Lights Come Back On, will be having a book signing at the Colony Store from 10:30 am. to noon.  Lilly Setterdahl will then be at the Vasa National Archive from 1 to 3 p.m. to discuss the work done by her husband to preserve the Swedish-American experience and to answer questions related to getting started with your own genealogy search. Mrs. Setterdahl’s visit will coincide with the closing reception of the Documenting Swedish-America: A Setterdahl Family Tradition exhibit.  Light refreshments will be available. Authors Mary Davidsaver and Jannifer Powelson will be doing a book signing at the Prairie Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Cookie baking will continue at the Bjorklund Hotel kitchen.  Saturday is also Small Business Saturday, so please support your local economy and shop the small businesses of historic Bishop Hill.

On Sunday, November 27 only, cookie baking will continue at the historic Bjorklund Hotel kitchen from 1 to 3 p.m.

On Saturday December 3 only, Mary Davidsaver, author of Shadows Over Bishop Hill, will be doing a book signing at the Prairie Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On both Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4, a Chocolate Walk will also be held at the Bishop Hill Creative Commons.  Purchase quality homemade chocolates by the pound.  Also, 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.  Rye bread will also be baked at the Hotel for visitors to sample. In addition, the Bishop Hill Arts Council will be holding a Gingerbread competition and raffle.

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.