Friday, August 14, 2009

Sandcastles, Sculptures and Fun! Oh, My!

Ahhh, sand: You can dig in it. You can bury your toes in it. You can throw it at your sister (though that may not be wise - especially if you're both adults now and she's faster than you...) But the coolest thing about sand is that you can build with it - everything from the most rudimentary castle to the most intricate sculpture. And where there are sand castles and sand sculptures, there are bound to be competitions - and I found plenty:

If You Hurry, You Can Still Catch These:

This year's Sandcastle and Sculpture Day, held annually on Jetties Beach and sponsored by the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce and the Nantucket Island School of Design and the Arts (NISDA), is all set for tomorrow, August 15, 2009. If you registered by the August 14 deadline and paid your $10 fee to compete, you'll be up to your knees and elbows in sand come tomorrow. Missed the deadline? Not gifted with Mad Sculpting Skills? No worries - you can spectate the festivities and cheer on the more artistic among us absolutely free.

Not to be outdone, Crane Beach in Ipswitch, Massachusetts is holding their own sand sculpture competition tomorrow, too: Crane Beach SandBlast! This year's theme is "From Ship to Shore," celebrating Ipswitch's 375th anniversary as well as the town's maritime land and sea history. Enter to join the competition, or watch the masters at work - it sounds fun either way!

Rats! Missed These for This Year, But Thank Goodness For Digital Pics:

Already tired of sand between your toes as Summer 2009

winds down? There's no time like the present to start planning for next year. Here are a few competitions already done for 2009, but check 'em out - you may want to wander to one of these next year:

  • Family Sand Sculpture Competition - Held in Ocean Park, Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
  • New England Sand Sculpting Festival - Held in Revere Beach, Massachusetts. The link will take you to the event's main page - great pics of past entries that will blow your mind!
  • U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition - Held in Imperial Beach, San Diego, California. Here's a Sand Diego News Network article about this year's festivities, complete with fab photos.
  • Annual SandSations Sandcastle Competition - Held in Long Beach, Washington. Free Hot dogs! Evening bonfire! Sculptors of all abilities! Fun! Check out the Long Beach Peninsula Visitor's Bureau's website for pics of this year's winners.
  • Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest - This June 2009 marked their 45th annual competition - fun for the whole family. Check out for pics from past contests.

Monkey See, Monkey Do:

So, now that you've seen all these fantastic creations, do you find yourself yearning to try a little sculpting out yourself, either in your trusty backyard sandbox, or that great big sandbox we like to call "the beach?" Well, do I have just the thing for ya... Here is a great resource for those who want to dig in and get building: Sand Castle Tips by Barbara J. Feldman. This kid-friendly site lists links to other (also kid-friendly) sites with lots of great information to help you build the sandcastle or sculpture idea that's rattling around in your now-inspired brain, no matter what your age or ablility. (Make sure to visit Sand Castle Central - a definite "must-surf-to" filled with lots of sand-castle-y wisdom.)

Virtual Voyeur:

And finally, if you just can't get enough sand sculpture pictures, here's a link to a Google images search for "sandcastle competitions" that brings up lots and lots of amazing sand masterpieces. Gaze and enjoy!

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