June 25 Midsommar Music Festival

Bishop Hill’s Midsommar Music Festival will return Saturday, June 25th with a strong line-up of musical performers. Highlights of this all-day event include Main Stage performances, a Scandinavian folk dance workshop, a Swedish Maypole celebration, and much more. Join us as we celebrate this Swedish holiday.

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, Orion Community Band, Chicago Farmer, and the Nordland Band. Immediately following the Main Stage performances, everyone is invited to decorate the Maypole with flowers and to join the procession. The Nordland Band 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. Music for the ring dancing will be provided by the Bob and Judy Duo.

Later that evening, there will be a dance by the park gazebo with the Peaches and Bacon Band performing. All dances taught and called by Gail Hintze. The park dance will be from 6 to 8 p.m., with no partner necessary. Admission is free.

The Bishop Hill Vasa Lodge #683 will host a Kubb game from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near the park playground. Kubb is a Scandinavian lawn game using wooden blocks and batons that has been described as a combination of bowling and horseshow. Learn how to play this game for free.

The Vasa National Archives, a short block south of the park, will be offering a Midsummer Respite featuring drinks, snacks, and a make and take clay sculpture 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.

Authors Mary Davidsaver and Jannifer Stevens Powelson will be signing their books from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Prairie Arts Center. Check out their latest releases.

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. 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, Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, Bishop Hill Old Settler’s Association, Vasa National Archives, Bishop Hill Vasa Lodge #683, and area businesses. Funding provided by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, SWEA-Chicago, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency. For directions and more info, visit www.vistitbishophill.com, or call 309-927-3899.


Aug. 27-28     Bishop Hill Chautauqua

Join us for a historical re-enactment brought to life through storytelling and music.  Spend the day with several characters from our past such as Mark Twain, Jane Addams and Herbert Hoover. The theme this year is a Turn of the Century Chautauqua.  Free event held in the Bishop Hill Village Park. Organized by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Fox Tales International and the Twinflower Inn. Sponsored by the Geneseo Foundation and Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.


Sept. 24-25      Agriculture Days – Jordbruksdagarna

Bishop Hill’s biggest event features traditional 19th century demonstrations, harvest activities, music, dancing, farm produce, stew, and much, much more. .  Email bhha@mymctc.net or call 309 927-3899 for more information.   10 a.m. – 5 p.mOrganized by the BHHAFunded by the Geneseo Foundation, Illinois Art Council Agency, Nature Creation’s, Wilbur and Marilyn Nelson, State Bank of Toulon, TerraForm Power, and the Henry County Independent Insurance Agents Association. 


Friday November 25, Saturday November 26, Sunday November 27, Saturday December 3, and Sunday December 4
Julmarknad (Christmas Market)
Swedish traditions come alive with folk characters throughout the village. Shops are filled with handmade items, antiques, folk art, and other Christmas gift items. Cookie Walk at the Colony School November 26-27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Chocolate Walk at the Dairy Building during the first weekend of December. Call 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net for more information.


Friday December 9 and Saturday December 10
Lucia Nights
From 6 to 9 p.m., experience a unique Swedish holiday. Luminaries line the sidewalk and music fills the air. Young girls dressed as St. Lucia serve drinks and sweets in shops and museums throughout the village. Soup supper available at the Methodist Church. All Bishop Hill restaurants and shops will be open. December 10 is the Christmas Tree lighting in the park at 6 p.m. December 11 Barn Dance at the Colony School at 7 p.m. Call 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net for more information.

Please call 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net to confirm dates and times.