The popular Swedish tradition of Lucia nights is held this weekend in Bishop Hill and kicks off the
festivities with homemade food.
"This is sponsored by the community methodist church in bishop hills, soup and vegetable supper with homemade pie, Swedish bread, coffee, lemonade and a lot of good fellowships," said Lloyd Anderson.
And Lloyds favorite item on the menu?
"Pie (laughs) I like two kinds hot and cold."
Many come together to celebrate the history of Santa Lucia.
"...there's a legend of Santa Lucia, there was a that showed up at the dock in Sweden and
his ship showed up at the dock with a lady on it with a white gown and candles in her hair, they loaded all the cargo all the food
and all of a sudden her and her ship disappeared," said Anderson.
After warming up with soup, time for some history.
"Here in Bishop Hill started in 1977, and the reason it started is because Bishop Hill was started by Swedish immigrants, and this is one of our ways
to honor our Swedish roots and teach the area about Swedish Christmas traditions," said Todd Dedecker
"We have people here not just locally but all over
Western Illinois and the Midwest coming here just to get a taste of what Sweden is like," said Dedecker.
This Swedish tradition- open to everyone.
"We have people come from all 50 states and also from different countries as well, besides Sweden."
"It's been really fun seeing all the different people here, we're from out of town we drove half an hour from Wyoming," said Victoria Peacock.
"To learn about the history and see all the unique sites and tree lighting," said Peacock.
The moment everyone waits for.
Took the community all day to get these lights strung up on the tree.
Followed by Christman carols and some shopping, to end off the night