The 2023 Bishop Hill’s Midsommar Music Festival is a two-day free, family-friendly event on Saturday June 24th and Sunday June 25th. Highlights of this festival include concerts in the park, a Scandinavian folk dance workshop, a Swedish Maypole celebration, and much more. Please bring a lawn chair and join us as we celebrate this Swedish holiday in Bishop Hill, Illinois.
The free concerts at the village park gazebo will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. This year’s lineup includes Black Hawk Pipes and Drums, Emily the Band, Hammer and Pick, Idle Oath, and Sarah and the Underground. Immediately following the musical performances at 4 p.m., everyone is invited to decorate the Maypole with flowers and to join the 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. While you’re dining, you can enjoy a taste of Sweden by watching a group of demonstration dancers led by caller Gail Hintze. The fun is infectious, so at the close of the meal you’ll be invited to participate in this folk tradition that was once an integral part of the life of most Swedes. Gail will teach all the dances, so everyone can join the merriment.
Author Jannifer Stevens Powelson will be signing her books from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Prairie Arts Center on Saturday June 24th only. Please check out her latest releases.
On Sunday, the free musical performances at the gazebo will continue and begin at 11 a.m. This year’s lineup includes Barry Cloyd and Brian “Fox” Ellis performing “An Encounter with the Green Man: A Celtic Summer Solstice Celebration,” Bucky Halker, the Midsommar Quartet from Chicago, Chris Vallillo, and the Nordland Band. Learn some new 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 Scandinavian folk dance workshop is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary for this one-hour workshop
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 both days of the festival. 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.
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. Regional Media is our major media sponsor. Funding provided by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency. American Rescue Plan Funds from Henry County, approved by the Henry County Board, were also used to help finance this event. For directions or more information, visit www.visitbishophill.com, or call 309-927-3899.