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Alaska Celebrates Salmon at the Copper River Wild! Salmon Festival

Cordova, Alaska-- Next week, from July 26-28, Cordova, Alaska will be celebrating local wild sustainable seafood at the annual Copper River Wild! Salmon Festival.  Held each year in July, this festival highlights the region’s world renowned fish—Copper River Salmon.  Cordova sits at the mouth of the Copper River Delta and life in this small Alaskan fishing village revolves around the annual salmon runs.

The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association is one of the festival’s many sponsors. Executive Director Beth Poole explains, “Cordova lives and breathes salmon. So it is wonderful that our community takes some time during the season to celebrate and be thankful for our fabulous wild and sustainable salmon resource.” During the festival, residents and visitors can enjoy plenty of activities from the Salmon Jam Music Festival and Small Fry Educational Activities to arts and crafts and food vendors. Athletes can also participate in the Alaska Salmon Runs, ranging from the 1 mile fun run to a full marathon, all which trek across the majestic Copper River Delta, a scenic byway.

To kick off the festival, the Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association is sponsoring the annual Taste of Cordova Seafood Cook Off & Dinner on the evening of July 26 at the Orca Adventure Lodge. Cordova’s savviest home cooks are entering their most treasured recipes for the chance of being crowned the King of Salmon for the coming year.

Erica Thompson, a lifelong Alaskan, was awarded the grand prize at last year’s Cook-Off for her Spruce Tip Salmon Gravlax. She has hung up her apron to help coordinate this year’s Taste of Cordova and explains, “This town has some fabulous home cooks. We don’t have a lot of restaurants here and often the most fabulous meals are the ones you make yourself. We’re fortunate to have amazing salmon to prepare and folks have gotten incredibly creative for this event. Fishermen have a mean competitive streak and we like to win. It’s all about the title.”

This year’s Taste of Cordova coincides with the annual Copper River Salmon Press Tour. Six visiting food writers will serve as judges for the event and will sample the thirty to forty entries, which will run the gamut from appetizers to main courses to soups and snacks. The Alaskan Brewing Company is sponsoring the Best Cooking with Beer category and prizes will also be awarded for Best in Show, King of Salmon, Best Locavore and Best Value Added Dish. “We can’t wait to see this year’s entries,” says Thompson, “one thing is for sure, it will all be a delicious way to kick off a weekend of salmon festivities!”

If you can’t make the trip for this year’s festival, you can celebrate by enjoying Copper River Salmon next weekend and be sure put the festival on your calendar for next year! For more information, contact Beth Poole, Executive Director of the Copper River/PWS Marketing Association in Cordova at (907) 424-3459 or beth@copperrivermarketing.org.

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