The masters of scraping, scooping, digging and molding a lump of sand into works of art are back for the 28th Annual American Sand Sculpting Championship on Fort Myers Beach.
All throughout the week there will be events to catch, such as the master sculptor quick sand, sand sculpting demonstrations, a doubles competition and live music. And if you’re lucky enough, you may get to model for some of the sculptors. I was asked to show off my neck—yup, I thought it was weird, too, but now I can say I was the muse behind that sculpted someone you’ll spot lying down dreaming in the sand.
You’ll also see a castle with intricate windows and brickwork, a wrinkled face sticking out its tongue. I took a few pictures of creations in progress as the competition began Friday, but my shots just don’t do them justice. It’s like they are molded from clay rather than ever-escaping sand.
One of the creators I quizzed has been sculpting for 27 years, and many trek in from all over the world. And they sculpt not only sand, but snow and ice as well—talk about a challenge.
It was raining on and off all day Friday, and we except more to come, but don’t worry; I was told by several of the sculptors that rain actually strengthens the sand. In fact, they all had water hoses at the ready. And at the end, they spray water with a little bit of glue so that it holds even stronger.
I definitely recommend going even if you’ve been before. Each year brings renewed energy as new and returning masters vie for the top prize. When you do, it’s best to come from Bonita Beach Road. You can park for free at Lovers Key State Park, where they provide a party bus, done up with lights and the whole shebang, to take you to and from the event.
Fore more information and a schedule of events, check out fmbsandsculpting.com.