19th century farming and homemaking methods highlighted this weekend

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic
Autumnal colors and activities will be featured in this weekend's Ag Days, held in Bishop Hill. This photo shows a scene during corn husk doll making at the 2007 Ag Days.

Despite recent state financial cutbacks, the 37th Annual Jordbruksdagarna ?- also known as Ag Days ?- will be held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28, offering a wide range of fun and informative activities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bishop Hill State Historic Site.

Featured will be demonstrations, performances, food, music, dance and games. Admission is free.

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association will host a variety of traditional craft demonstrations in the village park both days, including spinning, weaving, quilting, bobbin lace making, dyeing, wood carving, and spoon carving.

Hands-on activities in the park from noon to 4 p.m. both days include corn husk doll making, rope making, cider pressing, brick making and corn shelling.

Kids games take place at 1 p.m. both days.

A vintage baseball game -? using interesting, “gentleman’s” rules of the 1860s -? will be held 2 p.m. Saturday. The Rock Springs Ground Squirrels from Decatur will play the Bishop Hill Ox Boys at the ball diamond just north of the park. The game is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association.

Performances in the park both days include Hammer and Pick at noon and 2 p.m., and Nordic Dancers at 1 and 3 p.m.

Also appearing both days are storyteller Kathy Breese from 1 to 3 p.m. in the kids area of the park, and Banjolele (traditional string folk music) at noon and 4 p.m. north of the Blacksmith Shop.

These performances are sponsored by Community State Bank of Galva, Bishop Hill Arts Council, Colony Pottery, Bishop Hill Colony Store, Bishop Hill Colony Bakery, Bishop Hill Colony Bed and Breakfast, Anderson’s Antiques, and Bishop Hill Fine Arts.

Traditional Swedish food will be in abundance. Treats may be sampled by visitors in the park. The Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association will serve beef barley stew, hardtack and rice pudding. Vendors will sell farm produce, baked goods, antiques and fall decorations.

All Bishop Hill restaurants, shops and museums, and the bed & breakfast, will be open.

Jordbruksdagarna is sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. The Bishop Hill Arts Council co-sponsors the music and dance performances.

For more information, call 927-3345 or 927-3899.