Thousands of tourists Visit for Keokuk's Bald Eagle Apprecati - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Thousands of Tourists Visit For Keokuk's Bald Eagle Appreciation Days

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KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) -

Bald Eagle Appreciation Days is one of Keokuk's biggest money makers. Executive Director of the Keokuk Area Convention and Tourism Bureau Kirk Brandenberger said it was a successful weekend, both for the event and for the local businesses.

Brandenberger said 7,000 tourists flocked to Keokuk for Bald Eagle Appreciation days on Saturday alone, from nearby places, like St. Louis, and others from as far away as China. They came hoping to catch a glimpse of the majestic birds that can often be seen soaring through the sky this time of year.

"The eagles. The nature. We want to learn more about American nature and the different animals," said Emily Xu and Isabella Li.  

The event started 29 years ago as a way to showcase the endangered birds.

"The eagles were in danger and they wanted to bring awareness to the eagle problem," said Brandenberger.   

Since then, the event has grown significantly and Brandenberger said this weekend isn't the city's biggest event, but gives the city a boost in the winter.

"This weekend brings a lot of revenue into town that's normally slow. In other words it would just be a sleepy weekend and it brings a lot of activity," said Brandenberger.

Brandenberger said the high turnout helps local business.

"It is a boost for the hotels, gas stations, restaurants," said Brandenberger.

Waitress Brenda Huntington has waited tables at River City Restaurant in downtown Keokuk for 20 years, and said she thinks they will be slammed this weekend.

"It'll be a lot busier yeah. It's a very busy weekend," said Huntington.

Huntington said the crowds keep coming until the event ends on Sunday.

"Just like all day. In and out," said Huntington.

 

(Click here for more information about Keokuk's Bald Eagle Appreciation Days)

 

River City Mall Activities
300 Main Street

(All exhibits open Sat. & Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.)

  • AGENCY DISPLAYS from Iowa and Missouri showcase their efforts of protecting, preserving and maintaining our natural habitat.
  • TAXIDERMY AREA. New this year! See examples of innovative, artistic taxidermy work and learn about the latest techniques.
  • CHILDREN PIONEER ACTIVITIES with NAUVOO ON THE ROAD. Saturday only.
  • NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURAL CIRCLE. Learn about the significance of the Eagle and Native American heritage through song, dance and storytelling with the Night Eagle Singers.
  • ILLINOIS MASONS' CHILD IDENTIFICATION PROGRAM. Saturday only. The Masons of Illinois will hold a child identification workshop for families free of charge. Color photos, recorded interviews, DNA samples and fingerprints will be taken & put together to help authorities in case your child becomes lost or missing.

Seminars

  • WHITE NOSE SYNDROME: A DEADLY PATHOGEN AMONG BATS. (Sat., 11 a.m.) Presented by Dr. Andrea Porras-Alfaro, Department of Biological Services, Western Illinois University
  • A CHRONIC CONCERN: CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE AMONG WHITETAIL DEER. (Sat. 1 p.m.) Presented by Christopher N. Jacques, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, Western Illinois University
  • BIOLOGICAL INVASION OF ASIAN CARP IN THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER SYSTEM. (Sat. 2 p.m.) Presented by Jim Lamer, Manager, Kibbe Field Station, Western Illinois University
  • OVERVIEW OF THE CONDITION AND HEALTH OF IOWA'S WOODLANDS. (Sat., 3 p.m.) Presented by Paul J. Tauke, State Forester and Chief of Iowa DNR, Forestry Bureau

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World Bird Sanctuary of St. Louis
River City Mall Plaza Cinema

  • RAPTOR & REPTILE AWARENESS PROGRAMS (Showtimes Sat., 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, & 3:00; Sun. 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00 & 3:00) Raptors featured will be the American Bald Eagle, Barn Owl, Golden Eagle, Turkey Vulture, and the White-Naped Raven. See these magnificent birds up close and personal!

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Baymont Inn Activities
325 Main Street

  • MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT (Fri., 7:30-9:30 p.m.) Relax and enjoy the music of Dave Moore and Kirk Brandenberger in the Baymont Inn Lounge area. Cash bar. Sponsored by the Keokuk Cultural and Entertainment District.
  • WOODCARVERS SHOW. (Sat., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) The Woodcarvers' Show features outstanding and amazing items shaped by carvers from Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. Coordinated by the Keokuk Woodcarvers Club.

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Southside Boat Club
625 Mississippi Drive

  • BIRD WATCHING (Sat., Sun. 7-11 a.m.) For your early morning bird watching, come in where it's warm to enjoy a freshly made breakfast and a hot cup of joe.
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