A fun, free, family-friendly festival is set for Aug. 11 and 12 (Saturday and Sunday) in Bishop Hill.

A fun, free, family-friendly festival is set for Aug. 11 and 12 (Saturday and Sunday) in Bishop Hill.

The Bishop Hill Festival of the Arts returns with the second annual event featuring music, a plein-air — art created “in the open air” — painting competition, hands-on activities for kids, an arts and craft show, and much more.

On Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., an arts and crafts show will be held next to the Steeple Building Museum and plein-air painters will be working on competition pieces throughout the town — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. 

A wheat weaving demonstration and sale is set for both days in the Steeple Building from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

If you are looking to get your creative juices flowing, VASA is sponsoring a hands-on workshop, Natural Dyeing, at their Archives Building from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. 

There will also be art activities for children of all ages at the Bishop Hill Creative Commons (formerly The Village Smithy) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

On Saturday only, the Bishop Hill Heritage Association will host its annual Pie in the Steeple fundraiser beginning at 11 a.m. — until they run out — with a piece of homemade pie, a scoop of ice cream and drink for only $5. 

For your listening enjoyment, the musical group, Hammer and Pick, will perform during the fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Sweet Annie’s Primitives is hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a variety of primitives and antiques for your shopping pleasure. 

For the music lovers, Corie “Cow” Weisenberger will be performing at The Commons at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

On Sunday only, the BHHA is hosting a Swedish Meatballs at the Steeple fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meatballs, chips and drink will only set you back $5. 

Also on Sunday, The River City 6 will entertain everyone in the Village Park beginning at 2 p.m. 

To cap off this weekend of free, family fun, The Commons will be hosting the Plein-Air Awards and an opening party from 5 to 7 p.m.

With the Bishop Hill Festival of the Arts in full swing — and with three restaurants to choose from, seven museums to enjoy, and a variety of shops to peruse — what better way to savor summer than to spend the weekend enjoying beautiful Bishop Hill?

This event is open to the public.

This festival is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Arts Council and the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, with special assistance provided by Blick Art Materials, Garden Thyme, Hantverk Galleri, and Bishop Hill Creative Commons. 

This project is supported by Quad City Arts Dollars, provided by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Hubbell-Waterman Foundation and John Deere. 

For more information about the Festival of the Arts, call (309) 927-3064 or email artscouncilevents@ gmail.com.