Cultivating the strong roots of our agricultural past serves Bishop Hill well in weathering the winds of an uncertain future. A look back always helps to set a course for how we want to steer our community forward. Much has been reported lately about upcoming Illinois historic site cutbacks and closures. But in fact, those affected Bishop Hill venues - the Hotel, Church, and Krans Museum - will remain open on a reduced schedule, operating Thursday through Sunday.
As for the rest of the town and its organizations, all is in high gear, preparing activities and events to entice visitors old and new. In particular, the recent September 18th meeting of the Illinois Workforce Investment Board held in Bishop Hill spotlighted it’s undeniable charm and relevance to many, improving its chance to qualify for restored state funding. The Bishop Hill Heritage Association has sponsored many events and workshops throughout the 2014 season and is planning even more in the months and year ahead!
Since 1972, on the last weekend in September each year, Bishop Hill has celebrated the harvest festival, Jordbruksdagarna, Swedish for "Earth Work Days.” The park and locations about town are now being readied for this year's festivities. Ryan Werkheiser, a local grower of specialty fall ornamentals, has become a delightful addition to the festivities. He has loaded his wagons with all the best of the harvest, fresh-picked from the Bishop Hill countryside. See this and more this weekend, September 27 and 28.
Come and enjoy 19th century agricultural and artisan demonstrations, food, music, children’s activities, Old Settler Colony Stew, and vendors selling produce, antiques, and baked goods. See firsthand what our ancestors did to create the world of luxury in which we live today! While in town plan a stop at the newly renovated Welcome Center located in the heart of town. This spacious building is available to the public to rent for private and public events. Bustling with visitors, is the perfect way to see it at its best. For rental information, use the contact form at right. For general info about the festival and other Bishop Hill events, call 309-927-3899 or 309-927-3345.