A brand new free winter event comes to Alton February 19.ALTON, IL – A new, free winter festival will be coming to Alton later this month. Ice Jam at the Dam, held at the National Great Rivers Museum on February 19th, will highlight winter experiences that can be had along the river, along with winter-themed movies, live music, animal shows, and more.

From 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, the public is invited to visit the National Great Rivers Museum for a wide array of wintery activities. Behind the museum at the foot of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, local organizations will have educational booths where visitors can learn about winter wildlife, view bald eagles, and hear about the Lewis and Clark over-wintering at Camp Dubois alongside a replica of the White Pirogue boat used on their expedition. Expert Rangers will offer campfire programs while families roast s’mores at fire pits and enjoy hot chocolate and live music. Melvin Price Locks and Dam will also be open for guests to tour as they please, with tour guides and eagle-viewing scopes on top of the structure offering even more to experience.

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Of the many participating organizations, Old Bakery Beer Company will also be in attendance with warm chili and their new beer just for the eagle season, Snowbird. “We have always considered having an outdoor winter festival because there isn’t much better than enjoying a beer by a fire outside in the middle of winter,” said Lauren Patton, co-founder and business manager of the brewery. “We’ve not gotten around to making it happen here, so we can’t wait to participate in Ice jam at the Dam!”

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Inside the museum, stay warm with family-friendly movies inside the facility’s large theater. Ice Age and March of the Penguins will add to your icy educational experience, and will be shown for free at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm respectively. Or, purchase tickets to live animals shows being provided by TreeHouse Rehabilitation Center and learn how local wildlife weather the region’s winter. Tickets are available for purchase in advance, and animal shows will be offered at 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:00 pm.

“With live music and an array of family-friendly activities, our intention for Ice Jam at the Dam is to encourage visitors to recreate outdoors throughout the winter season and have fun while doing so,” said Natural Resources Specialist and Park Ranger Paige Laughhunn.

Proceeds from animal show tickets and the sales of popcorn, s’more kits, hot chocolate, and coffee will all go to support the Meeting of the Rivers Foundation, which is the nonprofit that supports the National Great Rivers Museum as well as its educational programming. Raffle tickets will also be on sale for donated prizes, including a Bird Lovers Basket from Audubon and a 1-night stay in the Eagles Nest Penthouse from the Cracker Factory.

For additional information please contact Allison Rhanor, Museum Director, at 618-462-6979 or visit www.mtrf.org.

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