You don’t have to say “Jordbruksdagarna” to know what it means: food, music, dancing, games, crafts, and many more family fun activities at Bishop Hill. The annual 19th century style fall festival (pronounced yord-brooks-DAH-ga-na) takes place on Saturday September 28 and Sunday September 29. As always, there will be a variety of traditional craft demonstrations in the village park during the 48th Jordbruksdagarna (Swedish for “earth work days”). Artisans will make rope, process flax, carve wood, forge metal, and more. Musical performances in the park include Hammer and Pick at noon and 2 p.m., and the Nordic Dancers at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day. The Burns Boosters 4-H club will host a petting zoo both days, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Old-fashioned children’s games will also be conducted in the park at 2 p.m. each day.
Jordbruksdagarna is not just located in the park but all over Bishop Hill. On Christina Street, located between the Blacksmith Shop and the Carpenter Building, vendors, such as Nature’s Creations and Uncle Bud’s Apple Cider Slush, will sell farm produce, pumpkins, pioneer popcorn, and more from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. At the Bjorklund Hotel from noon to 4 p.m. each day, there will be demonstrations on how to press and cook sorghum and bake hard tack. Visitors, especially children, can also try their hand at shelling corn, making bricks, pressing cider, and making a cornhusk doll. Garden Thyme will be having an Artwalk Sale. Peasant Works will have a DIY Photo Booth where guests can dress up in Colony attire. Visitors can explore Henry County’s agricultural heritage at the Henry County Historical Museum, where a variety of antique tractors and implements will be on display outdoors. People movers will be available to transport people around town to experience many of the activities, museums, and stores that Bishop Hill has to offer.
On Saturday only, there will be even more activities to visit. Historian and actor Brian “Fox” Ellis will portray Jonas Olson, one of the leaders of the Bishop Hill Colony. At 11 a.m. in the park. Mr. Ellis, as Jonas Olson, will provide unique insights about 19th century Colony life. Between the Carpenter Building and the Steeple Building from noon to 1 p.m., Swedish singer and songwriter Johan Johansson will perform songs about Swedish history. Then, at the same location from 1 to 3 p.m., Patt & Possum (Patt Plunkett and Charlie Walden) will perform a concert of traditional mid-western fiddle music that will get your feet a stomping. From 4 to 6 p.m. at the Bishop Hill Creative Commons, there will be a barn dance with the Sangamo Sternwinders and caller Martha Tyner. To end Saturday, the VASA National Archives at 7 p.m. will have a bonfire, with lemonade and smore supplies being provided.
And, of course, food will be in abundance. The Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association will serve “Colony stew” and rice pudding between the Steeple Building and the Carpenter Building. The Bishop Hill Heritage Association will be serving Svensk Varm Korv, Swedish hotdogs, and pork burgers on the east side of the Steeple Building on Saturday and an ice cream social on Sunday. Don’t forget to check out the Bishop Hill Bakery & Eatery, The Filling Station, the Krans Kafe, and P.L. Johnson’s for additional food choices.
For more details, call 309 927-3899 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Jordbruksdagarna is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, Bishop Hill Arts Council, Old Settlers’ Association. VASA National Archives, Bishop Hill Volunteer Fire Department and numerous local businesses, with the assistance of many volunteers. The event is also partly funded by the, Illinois Art Council Agency, Nelson Farm Service, State Bank of Toulon, TerraForm Power, Bill and Susan Sherrard Foundation, Nature’s Creations, and the Henry County Independent Insurance Agents Association.