Bishop Hill invites Twain, Hoover, Buffalo Bill to Chautauqua


BISHOP HILL – Bishop Hill is celebrating the history of the Chautauqua movement next weekend at its ninth annual Chautauqua.

“We invited those voices from the past that have something to say to our audience today,” said Brian “Fox” Ellis, artistic director of the event.

The free festival will take place on August 27 and 28 in the restored gazebo in the town square.

Ellis will kick off at 10 a.m. on August 27 with the “A Storyteller’s Tour of Bishop Hill” walking tour, which begins at the Twinflower Inn. The approximately 90-minute walk will circumnavigate the city and include stories about the founding of the city and some of its most colorful history.

At 1 p.m. on August 27 in the park, Ellis will play Illinois native Roger Ridgway, who became the first full-time curator of birds at the National Museum of the United States. He was also the main author of the book “The Birds of North and Middle America”.

At 2 p.m., storyteller and author Stephen Hollen will bring Mark Twain to life with a collection of stories.

At 3 p.m., Michael Hurt will sing songs made popular by the Fisk Jubilee Singers, spanning the history of African-American vocal music beginning with campaign cries and call-and-response work songs once sung by slaves.

The Hammer and Pick folk music ensemble will kick off at 1 p.m. on August 28 in the park with a tour of American folk music.

At 2 p.m. on August 28, Ellis will portray President Herbert Hoover, an avid fisherman, for a program based on the book “Fishing for Fun – and to Wash Your Soul.”

Stephen Hollen will bring Buffalo Bill to life with tales from the Wild West at 3 p.m. in the park.

Those present are invited to bring a lawn chair. Community restaurants, shops and museums will be open for those who wish to have lunch or shop outside of Chautauqua hours.

Bishop Hill, a state historic site, is about a 2.5 hour drive north of Jacksonville.


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