Pere Marquette State Park and surrounding areas are seeing large numbers of the majestic bird just in time for the Annual Bald Eagle Festival.

It has been a banner year for wildlife enthusiasts as scores of bald eagles have been spotted soaring overhead in the river bend area.  Known as being a winter refuge for the birds, the eagle hot spot houses the second largest population in the continental United States. 

 This surge in population is believed to be caused by the recent harsh winter weather which produces ideal river conditions for the birds. The arrival of the bald eagle also leads locals to anticipate a banner year for the Bald Eagle Festival at Pere Marquette State Park.            

The Bald Eagle Festival will take place on January 26th from 11am to 3pm at Pere Marquette Lodge in Grafton, IL.  The historic Lodge is located within Pere Marquette State Park which is known for its scenic outlooks, hiking trails, educational programs, and of course, bald eagles.

The festival will feature live music and entertainment by the World Bird Sanctuary as they showcase the Bald Eagle and several other rapter species in their Masters of the Sky Show at 12pm and again at 1:30pm.  Festival goers can also enjoy unique vendor booths, live music, face painting, educational exhibits, restaurant favorites and wine tasting. 

Entry into the festival is free.  Tickets to the “Masters of the Sky Show” will be $3 per person and will be sold at the Pere Marquette Lodge Front Desk starting the day of the festival.  For more information about Pere Marquette State Park and Lodge call 618-786-2331 or visit online at

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