Thank you, Cordova

By The Iceworm Committee

The 2023 Super Iceworm Festival was one for the books. The community engagement was exhilarating and made for the best festival in recent years. There are always so many people to thank and if we miss someone, please know that we appreciate your contributions to the Cordova Iceworm Festival!

With participation from CCMC, Cordova Telephone Co-op, Tara Brannon Photography, and their combined volunteers, the Paper Airplane Toss turned into a family fun day! We couldn’t have pulled it off without all their help.

The Treasure Chest outsold all prior years. THANK YOU for your support of Iceworm. Thank you to Alaska Airlines for donating a coveted pair of tickets and to Seaman’s Hardware for contributing goods to the kicksled bundle.

Cordova’s humble Citizen of the Year, Chris Belgarde, was elusive during the festival. Give her a big congrats and thank you when you see her next. We thank Jackie Ladd and all involved in surprising Chris last week at NVE’s Tribal Family Services sewing circle.

Cordova High School Administration & Teachers are instrumental in the annual Miss Iceworm program. We thank them for caring about their students and making thoughtful student recommendations. Thank you to the Miss Iceworm team – Sarah Kathrein, Ellen Sheriden, Amanda Head, Denise Hamberger and Mathias Reid. David and Bootslyn Roemhildt are the generous benefactors of this special program and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.


The combined Variety Show and Revue was a delightful night out due to all our local talent, the new Cordova Community Choir, Thomas Nothstine, Isabelle Nothstine, the Towle Family Band, Annie Carlson & Matt Honkola. Thank you to our tireless theater volunteers, JR Lewis, Amber Nolan, Josh Pearson, Heidi Voss, June James. 

Thank you to The USCG for leading Girl Scout Troop 148 in raising our flag. The dedicated clergy of Cordova offered prayers at the Cordova Harbor Fisherman’s Memorial; Father Michael, Rev Belle, Pastor Branden, Pastor Mike, Pastor Steve. We appreciate your loving support of this community.

The Survival Suit Races made a roaring comeback this year thanks to Deryn Carter, Nathan Wesely and their crew of scrappy volunteers. Seven teams participated in the races, after a three year hiatus. Thank you to the Harbor Crew for helping with traffic, and the CVFD for standing by (on their jet ski!). And while we’re at it, a big thanks to those who ran this beloved event for so many years, and are now passing the torch, Bob Behrends, Dana Smyke, Torie Baker, Troy Tirrell, Rob Eckley, and more.

Thank you to all who took the time to participate in the parade. Vivian Knop, our fearless parade leader (and past COY) is amazing. Thank you to the volunteer team that supported the parade each in their own way – JR Lewis, Josh Pearson, Helen Howarth, Dawn Gonzalez, Darla Church, and the Cordova Community Choir.

As always, the Fireworks Extravaganza was not to be missed. We think it’s the best pyrotechnics show in Alaska! Thank you to festival sponsors – Copper River Seafoods, OBI, Trident Seafoods, Cordova Telecom, Greg Meyer and Sylvia Lange with the Reluctant Fisherman, Copper Contracting, AML, Eyak Corporation, Native Village of Eyak, CCMC, AC, Acupuncture and Wellness of Cordova, Laura’s, Wilson Construction, Bayside Storage, Seamans, Cordova Ace Hardware, LFS, The Net Loft, North Star Lumber, Orca Adventure Lodge, Whale’s Tale, Casea Babic, Gilbert Urata, Serenity Seafoods, Nancy Barnes, Nichols Front Door Store, Copper Compass Photography, and The Little Cordova Bakery.

The sports tournaments were a resounding success thanks to Grace Lee (Volleyball) and Aaron and Teal Hansen (Basketball), City of Cordova Parks and Rec, CSD, referees and score keepers, and all the participants. Thank you to Mikee Reodica for organizing pro players to host a kids youth clinic, and those who sponsored those efforts.

A huge wave of gratitude for everyone that hosted events, the Alaskan Bar, the Reluctant Fisherman, Copper River Brewing, the Powder House, North Star Alignment, Prince William Sound Science Center, USFS, Native Village of Eyak, Cordova Public Library, and Cordova Historical Museum, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Copper Valley Telecom, and Sarah Phillips of Smack Box Entertainment.

A special note of thanks to the Cordova Electric Co-op linemen for hanging the festival welcome banner and to the Parks and Rec crew that hangs the light pole banners.

A big thank you to the secret players of the festival, Iceworm Tail hiders, the Miss Iceworm judges, and Baby Iceworm. You don’t get much public acknowledgement, and we appreciate you and your role in Cordova’s favorite festival. Finally a huge thank you goes to the Cordova Times and Cordova Radio – KLAM/KCDV for keeping the Cordova Iceworm Festival on everyone’s mind the past couple of weeks.

-Ria Beedle, Kelsey Hayden, Emma Merritt, Denna Stavig, Anya Honkola, and Christa Hoover