Bishop Hill’s Midsommar Music Festival will return Saturday, June 23th with a strong line-up of musical performers. Highlights of this all-day event include Main Stage performances, a Scandinavian music workshop, a Swedish Maypole celebration, and an Old-Fashioned Barn Dance.

The free Main Stage performances in the village park gazebo will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. This year’s lineup includes Black Hawk Pipes and Drums, Kewanee Community Band/Chorus, Big River Reeltime Band, and the Nordland Band. Immediately following the Main Stage performances, everyone is invited to decorate the Maypole with flowers and to join the procession. Accordionist Ernie Sandquist will lead the Maypole procession. It will begin in the park and end at the Colony School where visitors can join in the Maypole dancing and have refreshments provided by the Bishop Hill Vasa Lodge. Later that evening, there will be a barn dance at the Colony School with The Ragged Robin Band and caller Gail Hintze. Admission to the barn dance is $5 per person.

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association will also be having its 3rd annual Rabarber Fundraiser. The BHHA will be serving homemade rhubarb baked goods, with coffee and lemonade, at the Steeple Building Museum front porch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds from this fundraiser will be used to support BHHA activities.

The Vasa National Archives, a short block from the park, will be offering a Midsummer Respite featuring drinks, snacks, and a make and take clay station. The public is welcome to view exhibits, enjoy some light refreshments, and make a clay sculpture to take home. The Vasa National Archives will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Warm up your dance steps at the Nordland Band’s 12:30 p.m. workshop in the Dairy Building as they play wonderful waltzes and pretty polkas. If folks want to dive in feet first, this is an opportunity to learn some simple Swedish dances. For those who want to dance with their fingers, the band will have some percussion instruments along for you to join in the fun. There will also be plenty of seating for those who delight in just listening to the music. This workshop is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary for this one-hour workshop.

The Midsommar Music Festival is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Arts Council, co-sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, Bishop Hill Old Settler’s Association, Bishop Hill Vasa Lodge #683, and area businesses. Funding provided by the Quad City Arts, American-Scandinavian Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, SWEA-Chicago, and the Swedish Council of America.  For more information, please call 309 927-3899 or email

Schedule for the day includes the following on the Main Stage in the center of the park in front of the gazebo:

              – MAIN STAGE –

Black Hawk
Pipes & Drums                                          11 am

Kewanee Community Band/Chorus        1 pm

Big River Reeltime Band                         2 pm

Nordland Band                                        3 pm

***Maypole dressing begins at 4 pm and procession to the Colony
School begins just after it is dressed.

Barn Dance at the Colony School with The Ragged Robin Band – 7 pm.   All dances called and taught by veteran caller Ms. Gail Hintze. No experience needed. Admission to the dance is $5 per person.

Nordland Band will have a free workshop from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Dairy Building.