Bishop Hill invites residents to join in the annual Lucia Nights celebration from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 7-8.
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 today wake their families on Dec. 13, dressed in a white robe and wearing a crown of candles carrying a tray of Lucia buns.
Attractions include free musical performances in various locations in town.
Businesses and museums will have a Lucia girl serving cookies. Around the village, each building will have a single candle in each window, and sidewalks will be illuminated. Special Christmas gifts will also be on sale.
On Dec. 7, the Lucia Nights begin at 5:30 p.m. with the Lighting of the Park Christmas tree. Then, the Cantabile String Trio will be performing in VagnHall Galleri from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
On Dec. 8, the Mountain Men will be performing in VagnHall Galleri from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Also, there will be an Old Fashioned Barn Dance at the Colony School beginning at 7 p.m. The Rusty Pickup Band will be performing. All dances taught and called by Gail Hintze and Jim Hicks. $5 per person. Beginners welcome. No partner is necessary.
Both Friday and Saturday night, the Bishop Hill Community United Methodist Church will hold their annual Soup and Chili Supper beginning at 4:30 p.m. until they run out. Cost is by free will donation. On both nights, Hammer and Pick will be playing at the Steeple Building from 6-8 pm.
Bishop Hill is located 150 southwest of Chicago and 20 miles east of I-74 in Henry County. For more information, call 927-3311 or 927-3899. Visit the web at www.bishophill.com.
This festival is sponsored, in part, by the Illinois Arts Council, a State Agency.