Fun with Fungi: Cordova Fungus Festival Celebrates Local Mushrooms & Harvest

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Guided Forest Forays, Fiber Workshops, and Gourmet Copper River Salmon Feast Scheduled

You’re invited to the 10th annual Cordova Fungus Festival September 2-4, celebrating the fall harvest in Cordova. Hosted at the new Cordova Center meeting facility, the weekend’s activities explore the world of mushrooms and lichen found in the northernmost coastal temperate rainforest and celebrate numerous aspects of the area’s fall harvest season.

This is the time of year when gatherers begin searching for treasures in the forest – a king bolete or a yellow-footed chanterelle sprouting in the leaf litter on the forest floor can add deep flavors to many dishes, and orange and yellow-gilled dermocybes create rich colors for dyed yarns. Cordova Fungus Festival is the perfect event for mycological enthusiasts and novice mushroom-lovers alike. From guided beginners’ forays aimed to teach identification of choice edibles, to mushroom dying and fall harvest food preservation demonstrations, this festival has something for everyone.

Scheduled activities begin on Friday night with presentations by USFS Prince William Sound zone ecologist Kate Mohatt and Noah Siegel, author of Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fungi of Coastal Northern California. Fungus fun continues throughout the weekend with mushroom display tables filled with locally plucked and identified mushrooms; guided forest forays lead by local and expert mycologists; mushroom dying workshops by myco-pigment enthusiast Alissa Allen, mushroom inspired handcrafting with the Net Loft, and kids events. If the rain has you wanting to stay inside there will be fun and funky fungus movies showing periodically throughout the Festival; The Wild Harvest Feast featuring Chef Derek Baril, guest of the Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association fall Coho Media Tour; and a Mushroom Mixer where fungus enthusiasts can mingle and share their love of mushrooms and wild food.

A silent auction at the dinner will be packed with artisan wares and handcrafted items, including pottery, plant-dyed silks, jams, jellies, and specialty truffle butter. Tickets for the Wild Harvest Feast, which will feature wild fall Copper River Coho salmon and mushrooms, are $65/person (includes wine, dinner and dessert) and are available from the Copper River Watershed Project. All other festival activities are free, donations accepted. Register at no charge with Cordova Chamber of Commerce. A schedule of Cordova Fungus Festival activities can be found at the Cordova Chamber of Commerce’s web site ( or on the Cordova Fungus Festival Facebook event page ( High resolution images available upon request.

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Cathy Long
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