LeClaire Iowa: Eagles and Ice Festival

Works // 05.04.2023 // LeClaire Iowa: Eagles and Ice Festival

Off Season Event Takes Flight
in LeClaire, IA

Located on the banks of the Mississippi River just north of the Quad Cities, the small river town of LeClaire, IA, hosts can’t-miss events with fantastic flavors and delightful drinks set against the backdrop of the Great River Road. From historic storefronts to the natural beauty of the Mighty Mississippi, LeClaire blends the past and present into relaxing, weekend getaway opportunities full of bold, new memories.

The Challenge

Winter months can be especially challenging for small, Midwestern towns. While these cities thrive when the weather is warm and people are more eager to spend time outdoors, the bitter cold can keep them cooped up — barring an amazing event to draw them out. On the other hand, the bald eagles that make LeClaire their annual winter home thrive in the chilly weather, building their nests along the water and soaring high above the waters in search of food. In the admiration of natural Midwestern splendor, the McD team saw an opportunity to celebrate the outdoors and simultaneously highlight the people and businesses of LeClaire.

The Solution

The Inaugural Eagle Festival

Developed by the McD team to draw visitors to LeClaire to catch an uncommon glimpse of eagles in their natural habitat and explore the city’s charming downtown, the inaugural LeClaire Eagle Festival offered two days of free educational opportunities and exhibits for all ages, as well as live entertainment and specials at local shops and restaurants. As city officials assembled local wildlife experts and sponsors for the event — including the famed Riverboat Twilight — McD Creatives set to work on a multifaceted approach to spread the word, starting with a dedicated landing page with a full schedule of events and activities, plus a customized logo and promotional video. McD Digital then drove users to the website with ads on Facebook and Instagram — plus programmatic advertising through Simplifi — targeting people who researched keywords relating to birding and eagle watching, travel and tourism, and retargeted website visitors in various markets around Iowa and Illinois, including Rockford, Cedar Rapids, Peoria, Springfield, Davenport, Decatur, Bloomington, Champaign, Moline and more. Finally, the McD team crafted a press release distributed to local TV and radio stations, websites and community calendars through PR Newswire and media relations outreach.


A soaring success! Overall, we saw a ton of success digitally on all the campaign’s ad exceeded expectations on media coverage! Attendance at the inaugural event was better than expected and provided a much-needed winter boost in sales and lodging tax for the area with local hotels up 41 room nights year over year and up $6,505.53 in revenue for the Saturday of the event. Event sponsorship revenue was so high that LeClaire has money in the bank for 2024!


“The success of this event went far and above our wildest expectations! We’re so thankful that McD Marketing once again rose to the challenge and developed a savvy marketing strategy... We can’t wait to build off the success of this campaign during the second annual Eagle Festival!”

— Cindy Bruhn, LeClaire, IA, Tourism Manager



Facebook Feed Ads & Boosted Posts:

link clicks
post reactions

Google Display Ads:

link clicks

 Programmatic Display Advertising through Simplifi:

direct clicks

Organic Media Coverage Report:

TV Stations
online news outlets & radio stations
total potential audience


Let us help you take your marketing strategy to the next level with McD Marketing. Contact Randy McDaniels at rmcdaniels@mcdmarketing.com or call (309) 346-7412 for more information.



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