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The 2024 Bishop Hill Midsommar Music Festival Returns!

The 2024 Bishop Hill Midsommar Music Festival is a family-friendly event occurring on Saturday June 22. Highlights of this festival includes free concerts in the park, a Swedish Maypole celebration, and much more. Please bring a lawn chair and join us as we celebrate this Swedish holiday in historic Bishop Hill, Illinois.

Celebrating Midsommar, one of the two most popular holidays in Sweden – the other being Christmas – is a very ancient practice, dating back to pre-Christian times. It has its roots in Pagan rituals to welcome summer and the season of fertility. In Sweden, Midsommar festivals have been around for at least 500 years. Even in agrarian times, people in Sweden welcomed summertime by decorating their houses and farm tools with foliage and raising tall May poles to dance around.

The free concerts at the village park gazebo will begin at 10 a.m. This year’s lineup includes Black Hawk Pipes and Drums, Sarah and the Underground, Orion Community Band, Jazz on the Side, and the Norwegian Bachelor Farmers. Immediately following the musical performances at 4 p.m., everyone is invited to decorate the Maypole with flowers and to join the procession. The procession 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. No experience is required to join in the dancing.

Author Jannifer Stevens Powelson will be signing her books from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Prairie Arts Center, located at 203 North Bishop Hill Street. Jannifer will be celebrating the upcoming release and launch of Summer Solstice, the ninth book in the Nature Station Mystery Series. Please check out her website at janniferpowelson.com for more details about her books.

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. 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 Heritage Association, Bishop Hill Arts Council, 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, the Minneapolis Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council. For directions or more information, visit www.visitbishophill.com, or call 309-927-3899.

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