Team effort to help Ag Days shine

Mary Davidsaver

Bishop Hill’s former state site employees will be working together with local businesses and area volunteers to overcome recent budget cuts and stage Ag Days - Jordbruksdagarna - the annual harvest festival, on Sept. 27-28.

Martha Downey, state site supervisor, told a recent meeting of 30 people that she and her employees will provide the same traditional harvest activities that have become a staple every year: cider pressing, corn shelling and the making of corn husk dolls. 

This year all of the weekend’s activities will be held in the state park in the center of the village.

Many long-time favorite vendors will return, while committee members are actively looking for new vendors and demonstrators. Names of any new vendors need to be known by Sept. 17 in order to obtain permits from the Bishop Hill village board. The cost is the same as last year, $15 per day. Since it is a state park, there are no other fees. 

The size of the booths has not been decided yet and will depend on the space available. 

The Bishop Hill Arts Council has provided a budget of $1,500 for music, but that will not be enough for fees and lodging all the musicians during the two-day event. Other local groups and businesses will be asked to make pledges and many individuals have already offered to make donations as well.

Every year, Ag Days uses a lot of volunteers to help with things as varied as cheese making, brewing coffee, or making bricks. The names of all volunteers need to be known by Monday, Sept. 22, in order to have the proper forms filled out.

Ag students at Galva High School will volunteer their time, as they have done in past years.

A local farmer will harvest the broom corn and sorghum heads and bring a wagon full into the village for decorations and other uses.

The communities of Bishop Hill and Galva are coming together to ensure that Ag Days will be an event that doesn’t disappoint anyone.

For more information, call Sally Smith at the Bishop Hill Colony Store between 10 a.m. and 5 pm: (309) 927-3596.