Variety of eagle-themed activities planned for weekend

Clarksville's Eagle Days will hold its 27th annual event in the historic Mississippi River town, with an expanding variety of activities planned for Saturday, Jan. 26 and Sunday, Jan. 27.

Throughout each day, there will be eagle watching opportunities, live eagle demonstrations, videos and tours of Lock and Dam 24. The yearly tradition is a collaborative effort between the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the Wild Bird Sanctuary (WBS) of St. Louis, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Clarksville. The weekend is set up for consistent opportunities for eagle watching and education at Clarksville's Riverfront City Park, Apple Shed and near Lock and Dam 24.

For the first time, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel will conduct tours of Lock and Dam 24. Clarksville is an ideal location to see eagles looking for fish in the Mississippi River, because the lock and dam keeps ice from forming.

WBS will host hourly live eagle programs at the Apple Shed on the south end of town. The venue will also contain interactive children's games, eagle art print projects, exhibits and displays. The MDC video “Where Eagles Soar” will play each half-hour.

Outside, high-powered scopes will be set up along Riverfront City Park. MDC naturalists will be on hand for assistance, and bonfires are planned for warmth. Officials recommend that everyone dress warmly, bring blankets for presentations at the Apple Shed and binoculars if desired.

The festivities will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27. In addition to conservation souvenirs available at the Apple Shed, the annual Market Place will be held each day at 101 First St., including handmade Eagle jewelry, homemade candy and breads, crafts, antiques and Windsor Chair making demonstrations. Visitors will have the opportunity to view eagles through river-facing windows.

Clarksville United Methodist Church will also host its annual soup luncheon as part of its “Save Our Stained Glass Windows” campaign that began in 2014. The meal will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at the church, featuring soup, homemade desserts and hot dogs for $4 each, chili dogs for $5 and chips and drinks for $1 each.

Clarksville United Methodist Church is located at 111 N. Second St., The Apple Shed is located at 702 S. 2nd St., and Riverfront City Park is located downtown along the banks of the Mississippi River. For more information, please contact MDC at (660) 785-2420 or visithttps://bit.ly/2S0iYK1.

trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com