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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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ICE FEST. Dubuque's first Ice Fest was held on January 15-Feb. 1, 2004. In what became an annual event, Ice Fest held on the grounds of the NATIONAL MISSISSIPPI RIVER MUSEUM AND AQUARIUM featured such events as ice carving along with games and historical displays.

In January 2010, Ice Fest returned to the NATIONAL MISSISSIPPI RIVER MUSEUM AND AQUARIUM for the seventh year. Held on Saturdays and Sundays from January 9-24, the event features snow sculpting, ice carving demonstrations, ICE HARVESTING from the ICE HARBOR, ice fishing information, indoor crafts, outdoor games, ice bowling, ice safety programs, a professional chili cook-off contest, winter-safety lessons, and an appearance by Troy HENKELS. (1)

In 2014 the schedule of events ran from January 10-18, 2015. Daily activities included ice harvesting demonstrations, eagle watching, ice and winter safety programs, children's winter crafts, indoor and outdoor activities, sledding hill, Native American snow snake game, and ice tongs carrying experience. On the weekend of January 10th the program included professional snow carvers and open-water rescue demonstrations. Snow sculptures were displayed on January 11th and visitors were given a chance to meet the Dubuque Fighting Saints. On the weekend of January 17th there were open-water rescue demonstrations, ice sculptures, and eagle watching. On January 18th there was a family story time and ice sculpture displays. (2)



1. "Icefest Returns for Seventh Year," Julien's Journal, January 2010, p. 28

2. Gloss, Megan. "It's a Frozen Festival," Telegraph Herald, January 6, 2015, p. 1C