The Fort Myers Beach Sand Sculpting Championship held in Fort Myers Beach, Florida is essentially an oceanside art exhibit with live demonstrations. The 28th Annual American Sand Sculpting competition included artists from North America and a few international attendees, who collectively created statues from more than 2 million pounds of sand on more than 200,000 square feet of Fort Myers Beach (Times of the Islands). Larger than life statues loomed over the tourists, milling about, while master sand sculptors crouched in front of their creations, carefully brushing and filing off sand grains into spectacular shapes.

While the large sculptures were the main attraction, a few brave amateurs presented sand sculptures on much smaller lots. In addition to contest entries, a large tent hosted half an hour demonstrations and Quick Sand competitions. The sand sculpting demonstration recommended tools – such as a cake frosting knife, a make up brush and a funnel for conical castle tower toppers. The Quick Sand competition gave two artists just a few minutes to create an object and win audience votes.

If you go, visit on a weekday so there are less tourists and more parking. (Be prepared to shell out at least $10 for parking in addition to $5 per person for tickets- and bring some extra cash for delectable Love Boat ice cream.) Also try to attend on one the last festival days once most of the sculptures had already been completed. (If you attend on day 1, you will not see any completed work.)