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Midsommar Music Festival returns to Bishop Hill June 21

BISHOP HILL — Bishop Hill’s Midsommar Music Festival will return Saturday, June 21, with a strong line-up of musical performers. Highlights of this all-day event include Main Stage performances, a Swedish Maypole celebration and Old-Fashioned Barn Dance.

Main Stage performances in the village park gazebo will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. This year’s lineup includes the Bear Clan of Sweden, Jansson Five, Hammer & Pick, River Bend Bronze, and Black Hawk Pipes and Drums. The Swedish American Museum, located in Andersonville, Chicago, will have craft activities for children of all ages in the park as well. Children will make a Midsommar wreath of paper to have on their head or a bird feeder to hang in a tree.

After the Main Stage performances are completed, the Maypole will be decorated with flowers. Everyone is then invited to join the Maypole procession. Accordionist Ernie Sandquist will lead 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. Later that evening, there will be a barn dance at the Colony School with The Rusty Pickup String Band and caller Gail Hintze. Admission to the barn dance is $5 per person. Visitors can pick up a program for more details at the information booth in the park.

In addition, a traveling exhibit will be on display at the Bishop Hill State Museum. The Portrait of a Soldier exhibit is a traveling display of hand-sketched portraits of fallen service members from Illinois who have been killed since Sept. 11, 2001, in the Global War on Terror. Artist Cameron Schilling of Mattoon drew the first portrait in August 2004, after Army SPC Charles Neeley, also of Mattoon, was killed in Iraq. Schilling gave the sketch to SPC Neeley’s parents to convey his sympathy for their loss. In October 2005, while a student at Eastern Illinois University, Schilling decided to draw a portrait of every Illinois service member who has fallen during the Global War on Terror.

The Midsommar Music Festival is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Arts Council, co-sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, Bishop Hill Old Settler’s Association, Bishop Hill Vasa Lodge 683 and area businesses. This project is supported with Quad City Arts Dollar$ funds, provided by Hubbell-Waterman Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, the Doris and Victor Day Foundation, and Deere & Company. Donations are welcome. For directions and more information, visit or call 309-927-3899.

• • •

Schedule for the day includes the following on the Main Stage in the center of the park in front of the gazebo:

Black Hawk Pipes & Drums at 11 a.m.

River Bend Bronze at noon

Jansson Five at 1 p.m.

Hammer & Pick at 2 p.m.

Bear Clan of Sweden at 3 p.m.

• • •

Maypole dressing begins at 4 p.m. and procession to the Colony School begins just after it is dressed.

The barn dance at the Colony School with The Rusty Pickup String Band will be at 7 p.m. All dances called and taught by veteran caller Ms. Gail Hintze. No experience needed. Admission to the dance is $5 per person.

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