The third annual "Ice Jam at the Dam" winter festival, held at the National Great Rivers Museum on February 17th, will highlight winter experiences that can be had along the river, along with winter-themed movies, live music, animal shows, and more.

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From 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., 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 in the wild, and hear about the Lewis and Clark over-wintering at Camp Dubois alongside a replica of the White Pirogue boat used on their expedition. Children who visit at least six stations will receive a goody bag of prizes. Families can also roast s’mores at campfires and enjoy hot chocolate while listening to live music by Chris Cahill, who will be returning for this year’s event.

Of the many participating organizations, Old Bakery Beer Company will be in attendance with warm chili as well as Shivers Frozen Custard to help you double down on your icy experience. Pig on a Wing will also be there with their food truck, so there will be no shortage of food options throughout the event.

New this year will be a special appearance by Louie, the beloved mascot of the St. Louis Blues, who is no stranger to embracing the ice. Louie will be on site from 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m., alongside Bobber the Water Safety Dog, who represents the Army Corps of Engineers. Families who want a chance to interact with these two special visitors should plan to arrive at the event prior to this timeframe.

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As with all the Museum’s large festivals, Melvin Price Locks and Dam will be open for public touring throughout the event. “Open touring is a unique visitor experience relative to the standard tours we offer,” said Natural Resources Specialist and Museum Director Allison Rhanor. “We will have Rangers and volunteers stationed along the top of the dam with spotting scopes available for eagle viewing. Visitors can ride the elevator to the top at any time and spend as little or as much time on top of the dam as they’d like, rather than waiting for specific tour times with set durations.”

Inside the museum, stay warm with family-friendly movies inside the facility’s large theater This year, Frozen and Frozen II will play at 10 a.m. and noon, respectively. Or, purchase tickets to live animals shows being provided by TreeHouse Wildlife Center and learn how local wildlife are adapted to handle the region’s winter. Tickets are available for purchase in advance, and animal shows will be offered at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m.

Proceeds from animal show tickets the sale of s’more kits will go to support the Meeting of the Rivers Foundation, which is the nonprofit organization that supports the National Great Rivers Museum and its educational programming. Raffle tickets will also be on sale for donated prizes, including gift cards from Old Bakery Beer Company and Shivers Frozen Custard, an overnight stay at the Pere Marquette State Park Lodge, gift baskets, and more.

“Our intention for Ice Jam at the Dam is to encourage visitors to learn ways to continue recreating outdoors throughout the winter season,” said Natural Resources Specialist and Museum Director Allison Rhanor. “We’re so excited we’re able to continue to grow this event into a keystone winter experience for the entire region.”

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

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