Fish-forward Festival brings Music and Fun!

This article is reblogged with permission from Copper River Wild Salmon Festival. Check out their website for more information on this great local festival supporting the arts in our fish-forward town.
INSIDER TIP:  Volunteer opportunities are currently available that give you half price admission!

Salmon Jam

Salmon Jam Music Festival is a summer highlight for many Cordovans and visitors, and this year is poised to be their best yet. There’s always good food, a hopping dance floor, lots of neat arts and crafts booths, and a packed beer garden. But that’s not the only reason Salmon Jam is great. An anchor component of Cordova’s annual summer event, Copper River Wild Salmon Festival, Salmon Jam is also the annual fundraiser for Cordova Arts, a non-profit group of local volunteers that works year-round to bring arts and culture to our small but vibrant community.


This year’s headliners include Chicago roots reggae band, Akasha, and Anchorage’s BEER MONEY. With the best of roots reggae, cutting edge grooves, and rich vocal harmonies, Akasha is powerfully authentic but also accessible to the contemporary ear. Dubbed “the quintessential bar band” by Anchorage Press, BEER MONEY is guaranteed to get you moving. Wear your dancing shoes because roots and rock, reggae and R&B will charge the dance floor with spontaneous improvisation from these jazz-trained players.

Salmon Jam is also collaborating with 4H Music Camp this year to bring award-winning Colorado bluegrass group, The Railsplitters, and Alaska’s sweetheart, Anna Lynch to the Salmon Jam stage. Aloha Bluegrass, a Hawaiian band originating from Alaska, and Memphis singer/songwriter Brandon Taylor are also scheduled to perform along with many other artists from across the country.

Other performance slots are filled with local and regional musicians. Any other interested performers are welcome to download a Performer Registration form and email it to to add their name to the wait list for performers. Whether you’re performing or not, we hope you’ll join us for a weekend of great music July 18-19 at Mt. Eyak Ski Area in Cordova, Alaska.

Taste of Cordova

Cordova’s favorite cook-off is focusing on wild food this year. Any homemade dish with wild ingredients is eligible to win one of 5 categories:

This year’s event is sponsored by Ninkasi Brewing and prizes will included Ninkasi swag. Our judges will be special media guests brought here through CRPWSMA‘s annual Copper River Salmon media tour. If you feel like strutting your chef hat, make a dish or two to enter (just register with ahead of time). If you’re more of an eater than a cooker, just come by to sample some of the scrumptious entries. Dishes should be delivered by 5:30 pm on Friday, July 18th and should be enough to feed at least 8 people.

toc flyer

Alaska Salmon Runs

From marathon to one-mile fun run, this event has a distance to suit any runner. This is considered one of the best running events in the state, if not the entire NorthWest because of its picturesque backdrop, nearly non-existent gradient, and its excellent support network. Sign up for the run of your choice at Bidarki Recreation center or online and meet at the Cordova Community Medical Center parking lot Saturday morning (July 19th) for a scenic jaunt past glaciers, wildflowers, streams, rivers, and various wildlife like moose, swans, eagles and maybe even bears! Then refuel at the Salmon Run BBQ back up at the festival ground at Mt. Eyak Ski Hill Saturday evening for a Copper River Salmon dinner with all the trimmings. Then why not stick around for night 2 of Salmon Jam Music Festival?


Small Fry

How did fishermen record the size and species of their catch in a time without cameras? Fishermen in Japan during the 19th century used rice paper, sumi-e ink, and brushes to capture their trophy catch. Gyo (fish) taku (impression) is a traditional Japanese printmaking technique.

Nowadays we call it Fish Printing and this year, you can join the PWS Science Center educators and make your very own Gyotaku using salmon, squid, rockfish, or starfish on July 19th from 1-3pm at Mt. Eyak Ski Hill along with several other fun and educational events for kids and print 1

How to Gyotaku:

  1. Carefully paint a fish over the soft belly, the hardness of the gill covers, the scales and fins, and lastly the delicate eye.

  2. After your fish is painted, place a piece of muslin over the fish and gently press on it, trying hard not to smudge the paint.

  3. Once completed, lift the muslin to reveal you very own Gyotaku.

Other FREE family activities include casting practice, fillet demonstrations, tasty salmon treats to eat, and otolith & bug fun!  Kids Activities will also be available during Salmon Jam Music Festival at Mt. Eyak Ski Hill starting at 7pm both Friday and Saturday night.

For more information on this year’s Copper River Wild Salmon Festival events, visit their Schedule page.





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