Cordova, Girdwood team up for online Fungus Fest

Gird-dova Fungus Fest will include a kids’ virtual mushroom foray and other events. Photo courtesy of Copper River Prince William Sound Marketing Association

Cordova Fungus Festival and Girdwood Fungus Fair are teaming up to deliver a coronavirus-safe community event Sept. 4-7. Gird-dova Fungus Fest will include art and handicraft workshops, online learning events and other activities.

“This is now the fourth virtual festival I’ve gotten to help plan this year, and one great benefit I’ve found is the richness that comes from collaboration,” said Cathy Renfeldt, executive director for the Cordova Chamber of Commerce.

Virtual forays during the festival weekend will highlight different fungal varieties around Girdwood, Cooper Landing, Anchorage, Cordova and in Prince William Sound via sailboat. Gird-dova Fungus Fest’s keynote address will be delivered by Kitty LaBounty, associate professor of biology for the University of Alaska Southeast, and by Kate Mohatt, Prince William Sound Zone Ecologist for the Forest Service. Virtual classes will include a mushroom handicraft class by The Net Loft craft store, a bear bread fungus painting class by Copper River Canvas, and tutorials on marinating, processing and preserving fungus with Nikki Newcome. Young mycologist Gabriel Wingard will lead a virtual foray for children. Coronavirus-safe in-person events in Cordova will include a “Write & Hike” at Haystack Trail and two kids’ events that families can visit on their own schedule: a “‘Shroomy Scavenger Hunt” at Crater Lake Trail and a Storybook Forest event at Mavis Island Trail.

Gird-dova Fungus Fest was organized in partnership between the Cordova Chamber of Commerce; the Chugach National Forest Cordova and Glacier Ranger Districts; the Turnagain Arm Mycological Society; Girdwood Parks and Recreation; Girdwood, Inc.; BLM Campbell Creek Science Center; Prince William Sound Science Center; The Net Loft; and others. Fiber and art workshops may require materials fees and pre-registration. To register and view a full schedule for the festival, visit cordovafungusfest.com/virtual-festival, facebook.com/cordovafungusfest or facebook.com/grdfungusfair.