There’s no shortage of beautiful sandy beaches on the Gulf Coast of Florida and especially in Fort Myers Beach. Naturally, at some point, you’re going to see a magnificent sandcastle – or be tempted to make one yourself! The state boasts a great number of sand sculpting events. Among these, the American Sand Sculpting Championship at Fort Myers Beach is second to none.
Every year around Thanksgiving or the last week of November, Fort Myers Beach celebrates all things sandy. It’s not just an exclusive sandcastle competition, but a sand sculpting festival. The main event is punctuated by numerous speed sculpting trials, lessons, and smaller exhibitions. You can also find tons of Fort Myers Beach vendors, food, music, arts, and crafts to keep you busy for days on end.
The Championship enters its 33rd consecutive year in 2019. It’s consistently ranked one of the best sandcastle contests in the country. Beyond that, it’s a world-renowned sand sculpting festival which attracts a large following of artists and admirers alike.
Who are the Sculptors?
The huge popularity of the event drums up some fierce competition just to qualify as a contestant. Sculptors submit applications that are painstakingly reviewed by a panel of experts months in advance. Contestants are split into Masters and advanced amateurs who participate in solo and doubles competitions all in Fort Myers Beach and close to our Fort Myers beach rentals.
Sand sculpture artists travel far and wide to compete just like any major sport. Last year, over 30 sculptors from 8 countries competed for medals. The participants will generally have quite a few competitions under their belts already, so you know the quality of the creations will be top-notch.
Southwest Florida has a lot of sand sculpting events like this, including the Siesta Key Crystal Classic which leads up to the event at Fort Myers Beach on the week before. Participating in a Championship like this is a perfect opportunity to hone their skills as a sculptor and bring attention to their craft.
While you’re there, watch the artists work their magic with all sorts of sand sculpting tools. All the knives, brushes and trowels they use might have you think they’re cooking or gardening. They often use stainless steel tools to prevent rust from prolonged exposure to wet sand. Of course, the sculptor’s toolkit is not complete without bare hands and some elbow grease. There’s nothing like feeling the sand clump together as you watch your creation come to life.
Works of Art
The competitors in the sand sculpture championship create some truly inspiring works of art. Last year’s solo Master’s winner presented a memorial to California firefighters. Many of the other top creations often feature references to famous artworks or literature. Don’t miss the event’s official website and social media for some photos of the awesome creations that get made every year.
It’s easy to see the appeal of sand. Aside from being relaxing and pleasant to walk through, soft sand has many health benefits for your feet. Walking or running barefoot helps massage your feet, improving circulation and exfoliating your skin.
Sand is one of the most primordial substances for sculpting. The soft white sand beaches of Florida come from quartz rocks breaking down over millions of years. Picking up the sand to build with it, then watching it break down and return to where it began – this is part of the magic. It’s an intimate art form, one that really forces you to be in the moment. With this aspect of live performance, the sand sculpture is akin to a good play or a concert.
Head on over to Fort Myers Beach
The American Sand Sculpting Championship is a truly unique event. It’s one of many fun, engaging and accessible events for the whole family. The best part is that this is just one of the many things to do while staying at a nearby Fort Myers Beach vacation rental. See an epic sandcastle competition while checking out the local watersports, catching some wildlife tours or admiring the tranquility of some of the cooler and quieter beaches.
This a great experience to share with friends and family over the Thanksgiving weekend, and a good way to kick off the holiday season. Tickets are $8 per day, with $25 passes for families of four. There are also exclusive VIP tickets available.
Fort Myers Beach and our Fort Myers Beach vacation rentals are waiting for you – so get started booking your Fort Myers Beach vacation today!