Saturday, January 21, and Sunday, January 22
Mississippi River Distilling Company Celebration Center, 229 North Cody Road, LeClaire IA
Designed to offer a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see our incredible national symbol in its natural habitat, the inaugural LeClaire Eagle Festival will, on January 21 and 22, treat visitor to live eagle demonstrations and educational presentations, as well as opportunities to watch bald eagles soaring through the skies high above the Mississippi River.
Along with eagle watching along the Mississippi on Saturday, those participating in the LeClaire Eagle Festival on January 21 are invited, from 1 to 4 p.m., to view three ice sculptures in the form of an eagle, a heron, and a fish carved by Rob Storm on the patio of the Mississippi River Distilling Company. The sculptures will be carved at one location and once they are complete, will be lit up and moved around to various spots for viewing throughout LeClaire. A spotting scope on the Celebration Center rooftop patio, meanwhile, will allow an up-close look without disturbing the eagles as they hunt for food.
Additional LeClaire Eagle Festival events will also take place at the Mississippi River Distilling Company Celebration Center on January 22. at 11 a.m., internationally acclaimed author and storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis will present a story about bald eagles, bringing along a spotting scope and books for sale. Then, at noon and 2 p.m., the St. Louis-based World Bird Sanctuary will host two presentations with three live eagles. Since its inception, the World Bird Sanctuary has treated more than 21,000 injured birds and has helped organize conservation efforts on four continents. Photographer Ty Smedes will host a 1 p.m. slide presentation and lecture offering an often-unseen look at the lives of Iowa’s bald eagle population, from fishing to building nests and much more. Guests are invited to find out how researchers track eagles’ movements and where the eagles come from, with second editions of Smedes’ book The Return of Iowa’s Bald Eagles available for sale and for the author to sign.
Finally, at 3 p.m., representatives from Living Lands & Waters will talk about the importance of the protection and preservation of the environment along the Mississippi River, as well as how humans can help create a more hospitable habitat for bald eagles and other migratory birds. On Sunday, the LeClaire Community Library and LeClaire Parks & Recreation will also be on hand with organized activities for children, while Blackhawk Bank & Trust hosts the wintertime treat of a Hot Cocoa Bar.
For more information on the inaugural LeClaire Eagle Festival taking place on January 21 and 22, visit VisitLeClaire.com/events/leclaire-eagle-festival.