2022 Schedule of Major Events for the BHHA and Bishop Hill


PDF of the Bishop Hill Map:  MapBH2016

PDF of 2022 Bishop Hill Visitors’ Guide:  bh_webguide2022


Julmarknad (Christmas Market)

Prepare for the holidays by attending Julmarknad, or Christmas Market, in Bishop Hill, IL. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November 25, November 26, and December 3.  On November 27 and December 4, the hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The daily attractions include Swedish folk characters, traditional Swedish holiday decorations, holiday music, craft activities, 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.  A working model railroad will also be in the Steeple Building Museum, with a Christmas display.  The Vasa National Archives will have Take Home Dala Horse Kits available to purchase.  Each kit has a horse, three colors of paint, and two brushes.  Kits are $5 each.  Supplies are limited and visitors can reserve them by calling 309 927-3898.   In addition, visitors to the Vasa National Archives can participate at the Make and Take Dala Horse Station where people can paint their Dala Horses in the basement and let them dry while shopping and exploring Bishop Hill.  Dala Horses are $5 each and painting is free.  The Peasant Works will once again be having a traditional Scandinavian photo op stand at the 1882 Poppy Barn for visitors and also free make and take for the kids.

On Friday November 25 only, the 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.  The Bishop Hill Methodist Church will be conducting an Advent Workshop where families can make Advent Wreaths to take home.  Finally, cookie baking will be done in the historic Bjorklund Hotel kitchen from 1 to 3 p.m.

On Saturday November 26 only, the Cookie Walk will continue at the Colony School.  Author Lilly Setterdahl, author of Until the Lights Come Back On, will be having a book signing at the Colony Store from 10:30 am. to noon.  Lilly Setterdahl will then be at the Vasa National Archive from 1 to 3 p.m. to discuss the work done by her husband to preserve the Swedish-American experience and to answer questions related to getting started with your own genealogy search. Mrs. Setterdahl’s visit will coincide with the closing reception of the Documenting Swedish-America: A Setterdahl Family Tradition exhibit.  Light refreshments will be available. Authors Mary Davidsaver and Jannifer Powelson will be doing a book signing at the Prairie Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Cookie baking will continue at the Bjorklund Hotel kitchen.  Saturday is also Small Business Saturday, so please support your local economy and shop the small businesses of historic Bishop Hill.  

On Sunday, November 27 only, cookie baking will continue at the historic Bjorklund Hotel kitchen from 1 to 3 p.m. 

On Saturday December 3 only, Mary Davidsaver, author of Shadows Over Bishop Hill, will be doing a book signing at the Prairie Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

On both Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4, a Chocolate Walk will also be held at the Bishop Hill Creative Commons.  Purchase quality homemade chocolates by the pound.  Also, children are invited to make edible tree ornaments at the Bjorklund Hotel from 1 to 3 p.m.  Peanuts will be used. 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.  Rye bread will also be baked at the Hotel for visitors to sample. In addition, the Bishop Hill Arts Council will be holding a Gingerbread competition and raffle.

For more information about Julmarknad activities, please call 309-927-3899 or visit www.visitbishophill.com.  Julmarknad events are sponsored, in part, by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency. 


2022 Lucia Nights 

Bishop Hill invites you to join our 2022 Lucia Nights celebration on Friday December 9 and Saturday December 10 from 6 to 9 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 in Sweden 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. Lucia Nights begins in Bishop Hill with the Lighting of the Park Christmas tree at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 9.  The public is invited to bring edible ornaments to hang on the tree. Jack Watson will provide the music at the tree lighting.  Throughout the evening, businesses and museums will have Lucia Girls to greet guests. Around the village, each building will have a single candle in each and every window, and sidewalks will also be illuminated by candles.  Restaurants are open both evenings.  Special Christmas gifts will be on sale.   

On both evenings, Bishop Hill will be hosting a wide variety of free Christmas activities.  At the Steeple Building Museum, Hammer and Pick will be playing a variety of Christmas and folk music from 6 to 9 p.m.  The VASA National Archives will have a closing reception for their Early Christianity in Sweden and Documenting Swedish America exhibits.  Also at the Archives, storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis will share a medley of Swedish and Pioneer Christmas stories and songs from 6 to 8 p.m.  At the Bishop Hill Fire Station, the Peoria Folkulele will perform at 6 p.m., Jack Watson Quartet will be performing at 7 p.m., and Barry Cloyd will be performing at 8 p.m.  The Peoria Cooperative Academy Madrigal Singers will be performing at the Bishop Hill Creative Commons starting at 6 p.m.  Kids can become a Lucia Girl or a Tomte by using the Colony Church’s Selfie Station. Both Friday and Saturday, the Bishop Hill Community United Methodist Church will host its annual Soup and Chili Supper, beginning at 4:00 p.m.  A free-will donation is appreciated to cover the cost of the meal.  In addition, Line of Sight Studios in the Dairy Building will be doing $50 Walk-In Family Mini Photo Session Specials.  

On Saturday December 10 only, Entwined and the Krans Kafe are hosting horse drawn carriage rides on Saturday, December 10 only.  A carriage ride cost $5 per person.  However, children under the age of 1 are free.   

Lucia Nights is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Arts Council, Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, VASA National Archives, Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association, Bishop Hill Volunteer Fire Department, Bishop Hill Creative Commons, and numerous local businesses. This event is also partly funded by the Illinois Arts Council Agency.  For more details, call 309-927-3899 or view www.visitbishophill.com.


This is a listing of the major events only.  Not all programs are listed, due to the large number of activities.  Also due to the pandemic, events could be rescheduled or cancelled.  Please confirm events details by emailing bhha@mymctc.net, visiting the Bishop Hill Heritage Association Facebook Page, calling 309 927-3899, or visiting www.bishophillheritage.org

*The programs of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.