Just off the beaten path from Sheridan Mountain Trail, a forest full of wild mushrooms await. Sign up for a foray during the Cordova Fungus Festival to explore and see for yourself! Photo credit: Amanda Williams

The beloved 16th annual Cordova Fungus Festival, happening September 9 – 11, will include many activities, talks and a tasting party this year.

The hybrid event will feature eclectic presentations, including one by Aviva Kinuko from Israel. Kinuko, an eco-world traveler, will discuss mushroom uses throughout history, her experience volunteering at mushroom farms and her passion for the fungi.

The weekend includes forays hosted by U.S. Forest Service experts and others into the dense forest around Cordova to find and discuss the several varieties of mushrooms growing wild in our temperate rainforest. Painting sessions by filmmaker and talented artist Max Romey will depict mushrooms and the great outdoors, with one session geared toward the kiddos.

Check out and indulge in the “Wild Harvest” tasting party at the Alaskan Bar and Hotel. Incredible appetizers will showcase local fare including Royal Ocean Kelp and Simpson Bay Oysters, accompanied by an acoustic guitar set. There truly is something for everyone at the Cordova Fungus Festival.

Both mushroom foragers from near and far enjoy the festival and the abundance of tasty treats that grow in the area.

“I love how they are flavorful with local wild meat; they pair well together. I have been picking wild Hedgehogs for 20 years. Once you fry your meat of choice in the pan, throw the sliced Hedgehogs in with some butter and leftover Myoglobin provided by the meat, it’s delicious,” said Robert Masolini, a born and raised Cordovan.

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Don’t miss out on this magnificent mushroom opportunity to support the local community and economy and have fun in the process.

“Locals love this festival, and we do too, but we need support to keep it going. A full festival registration is only $10, and each one helps us. The Wild Harvest Tasting Party on Saturday is going to be fun and another great way to support the festival. Volunteers are always needed.

The festival website is full of info on all this and more,” said Cathy Renfeldt, executive director for the Cordova Chamber of Commerce.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.cordovafungusfest.com

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Amanda Williams is a freelance reporter for The Cordova Times. She is also Aquatics Resource Management Assistant for Copper River Watershed Project. Williams is a Navy veteran who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She has worked for a variety of newspapers in the Lower 48. She first came to Cordova as a VetsWork intern working for the Forest Service as a public outreach specialist on the Cordova Ranger District.