TREASURE ISLAND, Fla — Chiseling, scraping and creating a masterpiece out of sand takes time and a steady hand.
“We get that, all the time, ‘I can’t even tip a bucket over without a cracking it,’” said Meredith Corson-Doubleday, who runs Sanding Ovations. “There’s a reason you have to use a lot of water — you have to compact it.”
Corson-Doubleday has been doing it for years now.
“It’s like pouring concrete,” she said. “You mix sand in water, sand and water, sand and water and compact it until you get to the top of that form and then you add another one on top of that, and another one on top of that. So the process is building it up and carving it down.”
It’s one reason she said folks love to watch the experts do it and this weekend you can — for free!
This year’s theme is ”Sandlantis.”
Corson-Doubleday said this year and last, because of COVID, they’ve been limited on the sculptors they bring in. Typically they have 10 of the best from different countries.
“The people are a little disappointed with that because they love to see the representation of other countries,” she said.
But they wanted to keep the event going and give folks a safe and open space to experience the magic of these sand sculptures which typically bring in a lot of people. She said it boosts the local economy during slow season, and is even more important now after COVID.
“The businesses were so impacted by COVID, it was horrible. So many of the businesses never opened back up again,” she said. “So, to be able to have the event last year in some form, and it was very successful, even though it was a COVID year, there were thousands of people out here.”
More than 100 vendors will set up along the beach with live music this weekend plus this year they’re creating a little friendly competition.
"They want a winner! Absolutely, they do,” she said with a smile.
Voting on the best sand sculpture will end Saturday afternoon, November 20.