Prepare for the holidays by attending Julmarknad, or Christmas Market, in Bishop Hill. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 24, November 25 and December 2. On November 26 and December 3, the hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The attractions include Swedish folk characters, traditional Swedish holiday decorations, 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 lore entertains young and old with its antics. A working model railroad will also be in the Steeple Building Museum. At the Peasant Works, there will be a festive DIY photo booth in the barnyard, featuring tomten and julbock attire, and a free make & take project.

In addition, on Friday, November 24, help the Vasa National Archives make a paper mache tomte from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests will be adding layers of paper mache to the tomte. This is a community project that is open to children of all ages. A 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. Finally, cookie baking will be done in the Bjorklund Hotel kitchen from 1 to 3 p.m.

On Saturday, November 25, the Cookie Walk will continue at the Colony School. The paper mache tomte project will also continue at the VASA National Archives from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with painting and gluing on a beard. Cookie baking will be done in the Bjorklund Hotel kitchen. Sample freshly baked cookies from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday is also Small Business Saturday, so please support your local economy and shop the small businesses of historic Bishop Hill.

On both Saturday December 2 and Sunday December 3, children are invited to make edible tree ornaments at the Bjorklund Hotel from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  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.  In addition, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Colony Store from noon to 3 p.m. both days. A Chocolate Walk will also be held at the Dairy Building.   Purchase quality chocolates by the pound from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Finally, woodcarver Whitey Hershberger will be demonstrating at the Steeple Building Museum on Saturday, December 2 only.

For more information about Julmarknad activites, please call 309-927-3899 or email  Julmarknad events are sponsored, in part, by grants from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.