Bishop Hill celebrates Lucia Nights Dec. 10 and 11

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
Claire Mannon, 9 yrs. old of Geneseo, IL and member of Pride of the Family and (local Vasa Order of America Youth Club) daughter of Kimberly Mannon, grand daughter of Russ and Nann Swanson of Rio, IL lights the candles the traditional Swedish way for a special Christmas program for Vasa Lodge #683 Sat. Dec. 4th at the Colony School in Bishop Hill.
Bishop Hills’ Lucia Nights celebration will be this Friday December 10th and Saturday, December 11th from 5:30 pm until 9:00pm both evenings throughout the historic village. Lucia girls will meet and greet the public in shops and businesses throughout the village. For info. see www.bishophill.com.

The Arts Council of historic Bishop Hill invites you to join in the Lucia Nights celebration on Friday Dec. 10 and Saturday Dec. 11 from 5:30 pm until 9:00pm both evenings. The name Lucia is derived from the Latin word for light. This Swedish tradition is based on a legend of a Sicilian martyr, Saint Lucia, Queen of Light. During a famine in Sweden, on the longest and darkest night of the year, Lucia appeared wearing a long white robe and encircling her head was a crown of candles. Legend has it that Lucia appeared on a ship laden with food. When the ship was unloaded both it and Lucia vanished. Lucia is a much loved saint in Sweden. Girls today wake their families on December 13th, dressed in a white robe and wearing a crown of candles carrying a tray of Lucia buns.

Activities begin in Bishop Hill on Friday December 10th at 5:30pm with the lighting of the park Christmas tree and holiday singing. At the VASA National Archives there will be a Lucia procession after the tree lighting in the park at 5:45 p.m. Coffee and saffron buns will be served.

The Peoria Cooperative Academy Chorale will perform at 6:30 p.m. at the historic Blacksmith Shop VagnHall Galleri  on the 2nd floor and the The Mountain Men will follow there at 7:30 p.m.

The Rusty Pickup invites you to an Old Fashioned Barn Dance Saturday, December 11th at the historic Colony School beginning at 7 p.m. All dances taught and called by Gail Hintze and Jim Hicks. $5 per person, $15 max. per family. Beginners welcome. No partner necessary. Treats to share are always appreciated.

***Friday night of Lucia Nights only the Bishop Hill Community United Methodist Church will hold their annual Soup and Chili Supper beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Each business and museum will be open until 9 p.m. and will have a Lucia girl

serving cookies. Around the village, each building will have a single candle

in each window. Overnight accommodations are available.

This program is partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency and the National Endowment for the Arts. Bishop Hill is located 150 soutwest of Chicago and 20 miles east of I-74 in Henry County. For more information please call 1-309-927-3345 or 1-309-927-3885. Visit the web at www.bishophill.com.