Enjoy ice carving, raptors, hot soup at Eagle Watch

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Ice carver Matt Meadows will return to entertain eagle watchers with his skills on Saturday, Feb. 10. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Molly Moser

Get a glimpse of America's national bird at the Marina Visitor Center in Guttenberg on Saturday, Feb. 10, when Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual Eagle Watch and Cabin Fever Day. Live raptors, hot soup, and cool ice sculpting are among the entertainment planned. Events begin at 10:30 a.m. 

Live raptors: The RARE Group (Raptor Advocacy, Rehabilitation, and Education) of Iowa City will also be at Eagle watch, giving their always-enchanting presentation at 1 p.m. Don’t miss this rare chance for a close-up experience with live raptors! 

Eagle viewing: Binoculars will be available to help participants catch a glimpse of the magnificent Bald Eagles that can often be seen fishing south of Lock and Dam 10. There are spotting scopes along Guttenberg's river walk to view eagles all weekend.

Ice carving: Professional ice carver Matt Meadows of Bettendorf returns for another impressive display, transforming a 350-pound block of ice into a work of art. While Meadows braves the cold, spectators have a bird's eye view from inside the warm Marina Visitor Center, located at 715 S. River Park Drive. The carving begins at 11 a.m. 

Meadows learned ice carving from Dawson List, a member of the American Olympic ice carving team, while living on the Gulf Coast. He moved north after Hurricane Katrina and brought his skills with him.

Eagle education: Brett Mandernack of the Eagle Valley Nature Preserve will be in attendance with displays and eagle-related information.  

Tasty soups: Taste and vote for your favorite soup from area restaurants as they compete for the "Best of Guttenberg" in the soup division. Competitors include  Sodes Green Acre Café & Country Market, Picket Fence Cafe, Rausch's Cafe, Kaffee 1858 and Public House, The Stadium, and more.

Hot drinks: Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center's youth-driven Courtyard Café will provide samples of its Mississippi Mud latte, made on-the-spot from steamed milk and Big Muddy Coffee. 

Scavenger hunt: The Siberian Scavenger Hunt, a photographic scavenger hunt for eagle and river themed objects in Guttenberg, will keep participants warm and moving whatever the weather brings. Prizes will be awarded to those who brave the cold! Other activities will also be available for children to enjoy.

Painting class: A beginning oil painting class will be offered at Bent Willow Studio & Gallery, located at 14 Schiller Street. The class will be taught by owner and artist Rabecca Hennessey at 3 p.m. All supplies, plus a complimentary glass of wine, will be furnished, and the subject of the painting is an abstract eagle. Call 583-845-1524 by Thursday, Feb. 8, to reserve your spot, or email bentwillowgallery@hotmail.com. Cost of the class is $35 per painting, due in advance, with all proceeds to benefit the RARE group. 

“Eagle Watch and Cabin Fever Day is a great opportunity to come out and see what our restaurants have to offer for soups; and to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of Guttenberg’s eagles and river views,” said Chamber Director Mandy Ludovissy. “We have activities for all ages and we invite the community to join us for this free event sponsored by Kaffee 1858, Guttenberg Motel, Divine Current, Reimer Financial Group, Bent Willow Gallery and Thrivent Financial. For more information, contact Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce at 252-2323.

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