Prepare for the holidays by attending Julmarknad, or Christmas Market, in Bishop Hill. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 27, November 28 and December 5. On November 29 and December 6, 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. See Tomten, our Swedish elves, roam through the town, shaking hands with tourists, looking through windows, and peeking around corners in their red and grey outfits. A working model railroad and woodcarving demonstrations will be in the Steeple Building. The Welcome Center will also feature a decorated tree using Bishop Hill’s painter, Olof Krans, as the inspiration. These decorations were used on a holiday tree at the Illinois Governor’s Mansion in 2014.
In addition, on Friday, November 27, Old World Santa Claus will visit with children from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Welcome Center. Cameras are welcomed. Cookie baking will be done in the 1860’s Bjorklund Hotel kitchen. Sample freshly baked cookies from 1 to 3 p.m. 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.
On Saturday, November 28, the Cookie Walk will continue at the Colony School and cookie baking will continue at the Bjorklund Hotel. Also, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in VagnHall Galleri, there will be an opening reception for ceramic artist Ben Watkins and a book signing by Jannier Powelson, popular children’s book author. Mr. Watson’s artwork will be on display in VagnHall Galleri, located on the 2nd floor of the Prairie Arts Center, throughout the holiday season. At 6 p.m., attend an evening of dining and mystery at PL Johnson’s Dining Room as Die Laughing Productions present The Mystery of the Ugly Christmas Sweater. The cost is $38.00 per person. Tickets must be purchased in advance so call 309-927-3064 to make reservations. A prize will be awarded for the ugliest Christmas Sweater. This event is a fundraiser for the Bishop Hill Arts Council Welcome Center.
On Sunday, November 29, Old World Santa Claus returns to the Welcome Center from 1 to 3 p.m. to visit with children. Cameras are welcomed.
On Saturday December 5 and Sunday December 6 only, two unique Christmas Market events will be held. 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 Site to be placed on the Bishop Hill Park’s Christmas tree during the tree lighting on Lucia Nights. A Chocolate Walk will also be held at the Welcome Center. Purchase quality chocolates by the pound from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Julmarknad events are sponsored, in part, by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.