Bishop Hill Revives Pioneer Traditions to Welcome Spring

 

by Brian "Fox" Ellis

Spring Jubilee *has deep roots in Bishop Hill. After that first, long, cold winter in 1846, the pioneers were eager to celebrate the jubilee that is spring. The folks who live and work in Bishop Hill today are celebrating *Spring Jubilee Saturday, April 2nd from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm with crafts, exhibits, and programs that invite families to enjoy the season. Visitors can receive a nose gay flower arrangement, craft a flower pot or bug catcher, plant a prairie, paint a gourd, view a toy tractor display, enjoy lunch at one of three restaurants, learn about bees, and decorate a set of pottery.

This vernal event begins with Artful Dining at 10 am. Discover your inner artist at this two-part workshop brought to you by Hantverk Galleri and the Twinflower Inn. Saturday morning you can design and decorate a 3-piece breakfast set of pottery, which includes a mug, bowl and plate at Hantverk Galleri. It will then be fired overnight so you can celebrate brunch in style with fellow creatives at the Twinflower Inn, Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. Reservations are required. Call the gallery at (309) 927-3064.

Sweet Annie’s Primitives is giving away a small dried flower bouquet also called a tussie mussie, nose gay, or posy. At the Bishop Hill Museum, they will have packets of bird nesting materials for people to pick up and scatter in their yards. The Colony Store is doing a “Kid Craft Corner;” anyone who stops by between noon and four can craft a flower pot or a bug catcher! All supplies provided and we will craft till the supplies run out!

Garden Thyme will be hosting a Birdhouse Gourd Workshop at 1:00 pm. Folks can paint a gourd for the birds to enjoy in their gardens. The fee is $25 and includes the gourd and all paint supplies. Contact Katrina via email at: katrinamorrison88@gmail.com or on Facebook at Garden Thyme in Bishop Hill. 

The Henry County Museum will host a program on beekeeping at 2:00. Presented by Bill and Dorothy Murdoch of Oneida, folks will gain an understanding of what it takes to keep their own bees, extract honey, and maybe a recipe or two.

The Twinflower Inn will offer a hands-on workshop on how to plant a prairie & bee a part of Illinois’ prairie heritage. After a brief introduction to the natural history of the Prairie State, participants will make their own small planting pots and plant several species of flowers and grasses to take home. The presenter, Brian “Fox” Ellis, is the author of “Exploring Prairie Wildlife.” This program begins at 3:00 p.m. on The Twinflower Inn back porch, unless the weather is inclement, then it will be moved to the Henry County Museum.

The Vasa National Archives will be featuring two new exhibits both opening on April 2nd. "A Swedish Sketch" looks at the changes in 19th century Sweden and the conditions that lead to the five main migrations. "Vasa's First Century" reviews the origins, changes and events of the Vasa Order of America from 1896-1996. Light refreshments will be served from 4:00 - 6:00 pm. Toy tractor collectors and enthusiasts will be out in force in Bishop Hill on April 2nd and 3rd to see a variety of John Deere, Case, and International Harvester toy tractors and farm implements. Local collectors Lloyd Anderson, Jerry Kuster, Bill McClure, and Richard Carlson will be displaying their treasures for just one weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.  Over one hundred toy tractors and implements of all shapes, sizes, and brands will be exhibited at the Steeple Building Museum, located at 103 North Bishop Hill Street.  These items are not for sale.

For More Information call Bishop Hill Heritage Association at 309-927-3899