Mark your calendars Reelfoot to host annual Eagle Fest
Posted: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 9:43 pm
Reelfoot Lake is about to officially welcome the eagles — the birds, not the band.
The 5th Annual Reelfoot Lake Eagle Festival promises a wintry fun-filled family weekend when it takes off Feb. 6-8 at the Reelfoot Lake State Park Visitors Center near the Blue Bank area.
It is sponsored by the Reelfoot Lake Tourism Council and Reelfoot Lake State Park and Air Park Inn.
Tours will be available to view the majestic American Bald Eagles nesting, soaring and locking talons in courtship, according to organizers. Reelfoot Lake features one of the largest populations of the eagles outside of Alaska. Guided tours will be offered by bus, van and pontoon boat for a moderate charge.
Other activities will include a Saturday night live birds of prey program and a variety of programs for all ages, including a scavenger hunt, geo cache, art and photography contests, storytelling, photos with an eagle mascot, a silent auction and vendors.
Tour reservations may be made by calling (731) 253-9652 or 253-7756 and lodging information is available by calling (731) 253-2007.
For more information, visit the tourism council’s Web site at www.reelfoottourism.com and click on the festival link or call (731) 253-2007.
According to the schedule posted on the Web site, festival vendors will be set up no later than noon Feb. 6 at the Visitors Center and a free tote bag will be given to the first 100 families that register at the Reelfoot Lake Tourism Council booth during event hours. Registration starts at 4 p.m., which is also when the scavenger hunt will begin.
The activities on Feb. 6 will include eagle and waterfowl tours by bus or pontoon at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and the vendor booths will be open to the public from 4-9 p.m. An official welcome and waterfowl watcher’s overview will start at 7 p.m., followed by a wildlife and history program at 7:30.
Feb. 7, the activities will in-clude a sunrise photography tour by bus at 6 a.m., followed by eagle and waterfowl tours by bus at 8 a.m. Registration will resume at 9 a.m., when the scavenger hunt will also continue, and the silent auction will be conducted from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Vendors will be open from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. More eagle and waterfowl tours will be offered by bus or pontoon at 10 a.m., which is also the designated deadline to have art for a competition submitted to the tourism council’s booth.
The full slate of Feb. 7 activities will continue at noon with storytelling with an eagle mascot, followed by a book signing by “Chief Reelfoot” author Robbie Riley at 12:30 p.m. and additional eagle and waterfowl tours by bus or pontoon at 1 p.m. The scavenger hunt will end at 3:30 p.m., which is when participants should have their bags checked at the tourism booth. Winners of the art contest, silent auction and scavenger hunt will be announced at 6 p.m. and a live birds of prey program will be held at 7 p.m.
The final day of the festival on Feb. 8 will begin with a 6 a.m. photography tour by bus and an 8 a.m. eagle and waterfowl tour by bus. The vendors will be open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. More eagle and waterfowl tours by bus or pontoon will be held at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
All bus tours are scheduled to depart from the Air Park Inn near Tiptonville, while all pontoons are slated to leave from the Visitors Center in the Blue Bank area, according to the schedule posted on the Web site.
Published in The Messenger 12.31.08
eagles, Reelfoot Lake