Chautauqua returns to Bishop Hill

Local News

Brian “Fox” Ellis

The free Chautauqua festival will return to Bishop Hill on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28 and 29.

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association will host the annual festival in the town square.

On Aug. 28, the event will begin at 10 a.m. with “A Storyteller’s Tour of Bishop Hill”, a walking tour lead by Brian “Fox” Ellis that begins at the Twinflower Inn. The tour will last about 90 minutes, circle the town, and include stories of the founding of the town as well as some of its more colorful recent history.

At 1 p.m., Bucky Halker will tell the story of Joe Hill, a Swedish immigrant and labor activist who was immortalized in song. Halker will weave together the story of Joe Hill’s life with some of the songs for which he is remembered.

All programs will be held at the newly restored gazebo in Bishop Hill’s village park, on the corners of Main Street and Bishop Hill Road. Visitors are invited to bring lawn chairs.

This free event is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, AmericanScandinavian Foundation, Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, Bill and Susan Sherrard Foundation, SWEA-Chicago, and the Twinflower Inn Bed and Breakfast. For more information, call 309-927-3899, visit here or email

The Bishop Hill Chautauqua schedule:
Saturday, Aug, 28
10 a.m. – “A Storyteller’s Tour of Bishop Hill” with Brian “Fox” Ellis
1 p.m. – “Joe Hill: Labor Activist” with Bucky Halker
2 p.m. – “Jonas Olson: A Bishop Hill Founding Father” with Brian “Fox” Ellis
3: p.m. – “Jenny Lind: The Swedish Nightingale” with Paula Vankuren
Sunday, Aug. 29
1 p.m. – “Peter Christian Asbjornsen: Folklore and Ecology” with Brian “Fox” Ellis
2 p.m. – “Carl Sandburg: Poet of the People” with Barry Cloyd
3 p.m. – “Astrid Lindgren: Pipi Longstocking” with Kay Price

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