“It’s really interesting what people come up with,” said the local Chamber of Commerce’s Mary Sherman of the event, going into its 35th year.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and allows participants two hours to create their sandcastle masterpiece. According to competition rules, competitors can only use water to set sand, no coloring of the sand is allowed, only biodegradable products may be used to decorate sculptures, and sculptures can’t be artificially supported.
Once the two hours are up, a panel of judges will look over the works to determine the winners.
“We have four judges right now — we’re working on a fifth,” Sherman said. “They’re all locals in the community.”
There are five categories that teams and individuals can enter: Family, with 2-7 participants of all ages; Crew, with eight or more participants of all ages; Youth Crew, with 2-7 participants younger than 15; Individual, or one participant; and Youth, one participant younger than 15.
Sherman said there are currently 16 teams, with the possibility of several more coming on board by the time the competition begins Saturday morning.
“It looks like we’re set for decent weather — I’ve got my fingers crossed,” Sherman said of the weekend forecast. “It’s rain or shine, to an extent. We obviously won’t be out there if there’s lightning or storms.”
While the sand sculpting might be the same, one aspect that’s changed this year is the date of the event — mid-August instead of mid-June.
“We flip-flopped the time with Castle Grande,” Sherman said. “It seemed to make the most sense.”
Castle Grande offers an opportunity for people to learn the basics of sand sculpting, with tips and tricks from area professionals. It took place June 18, also on City Beach.
Sherman said it made sense to have Castle Grande first in the summer so people can brush up on their skills before they enter the Sand Sculpture competition.