Bishop Hill invites you to join in the Lucia Nights celebration on Friday December 13 and Saturday December 14 from 6 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. This Swedish tradition is based on a legend of Saint Lucia, Queen of Light. During a famine in Sweden, on the longest and darkest night of the year, Lucia appeared wearing a long white robe and encircling her head was a crown of candles. Legend has it that Lucia appeared on a ship laden with food. When the ship was unloaded, both it and Lucia vanished. Girls today wake their families on December 13th carrying a tray of Lucia buns while dressed in a white robe and wearing a crown of candles.
Attractions include free musical performances in various locations in town. Businesses and museums will have a Lucia girl serving cookies. Around the village, each building will have a single candle in each window, and sidewalks will be illuminated. Special Christmas gifts will also be on sale.
On Friday, December 13, the Lucia Nights begin at 6 p.m. with the Lighting of the Park Christmas tree. Then, the Peoria Cooperative Academy Chorale will be performing in VagnHall Galleri at 6 p.m., with the Kewanee Community Chorus following at 7 p.m. In the Welcome Center, Vanessa League will be performing from 6 to 9 p.m.
On Saturday, December 14, the Peoria Cooperative Academy Chorale will again be performing in VagnHall Galleri at 6 p.m., followed by the Mountain Men at 7 p.m. Barry Cloyd will be performing at the Welcome Center from 6 to 9 p.m. Also, there will be an Old Fashioned Barn Dance at the Colony School beginning at 7 p.m. The Rusty Pickup Band will be performing. All dances taught and called by Gail Hintze and Jim Hicks. Admission is $5 per person, and beginners are welcome. No partner is necessary.
Both Friday and Saturday night, the Bishop Hill Community United Methodist Church will host the annual Soup and Chili Supper beginning at 4:30 p.m. until they run out. A free-will donation is appreciated to cover the cost of the meal. On both nights, Hammer and Pick will be playing at the Steeple Building from 6 to 9 p.m.