Now entering its 31st year, the Birch Bay Sand Sculpture Contest will kick off on Saturday, June 21.
The competition has been a local favorite for more than three decades, and has led to the creation of some truly inspired works of art. From elaborate palaces with molded sandy parapets and spires to fantastical creatures like giant squids and unicorns, there’s always something new and exciting to see.
“I like being able to see the regulars that come religiously every year,” said Marty Stauffer, co-chair of the Sand Sculpture Contest. “They tend to develop distinctive styles, and I always like seeing what people will come up with.”
One of Stauffer’s personal favorites is a team of ladies who go by the name of the Old Crow Sisterhood, who put their created character, “Norman,” into new and sometimes dangerous situations every year.
Contestants are allowed to use sand, water and any other natural materials they find on the beautiful gray-sand beaches to complete their sculptures. The event is divided into individuals, teams, businesses and children under 12, with each category being judged separately. Those competing in the business category have often found ways to incorporate their company’s logo for a fun and creative way to advertise their business.
The competition will be judged by a panel of five to seven locals, who are still to be determined. Stauffer said he and his staff are attempting to recruit all educators to judge this year’s entries.
The organizers are still receiving prizes, donated by several local businesses. In the past, winners have walked away with items such as passes to the Birch Bay Waterslides, gift certificates to local restaurants and free golf lessons from local pros.
Four Birch Bay locations are offering a 10-percent discount to out-of-town visitors for the Sand Sculpture Contest. Birch Bay Getaway, Serene Vacation Cottages, the Tide Catcher and a private, two-bedroom vacation home on Broadway Drive are all offering the reduced rate as a means of encouraging new sandsculptors to visit Birch Bay.
Participation in the contest is free. Registration begins at 9 a.m. on June 21 at 7900 Birch Bay Drive. All entries will be judged at noon. For more information, visit birchbaychamber.com
, or call 360/371-5004.