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(NECN: Jackie Bruno, Revere, Mass.) - To fun in the sun…and sand.
It’s an artistic competition with lots of money on the line.
There’s $20,000 in prizes at stake, and 10 competitors are vying for first place. But really everyone here is a winner because the entire festival is free to the public, and that’s a deal because there is so much to do and see.
“It’s 100 tons of sand,” says Meredith Corson. “It took two full days.”
Corson is talking about the center sculpture at the revere beach national sand sculpting festival. The Red Sox themed masterpiece was done completely by hand, no stencils, no molds.
“We went almost 20 feet tall so all those forms stack on top of each other. We build it up and then we take all those forms off and carve it down. So the structure is just sand and water,” she says. “There’s nothing inside…just sand, water and sweat.”
And sweat is the key. Ten competitors are bringing their A-game to this annual contest. Each gets 15 tons of sand and four days to wow the crowds with their beach creation.
“I just love coming to Revere,” says Dan Belcher. “After six years of coming here, it’s like having family you never knew you had.
And like a family, they’re teasing and taunting each other, mostly throwing jabs at the festival’s reigning champion Jonathan Bouchard, also known as Jobi.
“Now I’m feeling confident but all the other carvers are telling me it’s over now for me,” Jobi says. “But, no, I don’t think so.”
Jobi is famous for his hollowed out sculptures. He’s a native of Canada and started with ice sculpting before applying his skills to sand. This year he’s making a bee.
“I’ve won twice and I’ve placed every year. Last two years I’ve placed second to Jobi,” says Dan Doubleday. “We’re not going to let him win this year.”
“Jobi is two years in a row. He’s come in and cleaned house and his time is over, it’s done. He can try to win people’s choice. That’s fine we’ll give him that,” says Chris Guinto. “But he’s not taking first place anymore, that’s old hat; he’s done.”
Guinto of Florida has been working hard on his gothic and gory dog sculpture. He thinks he’s got the chops to kick Jobi off his throne.
“I’m beyond first place,” Guinto says. “This sculpture is going to align the planets and create world peace.”
Those are some pretty lofty goals.
In the kids section, there are young sculptors just learning the basics. One boy came all the way from Ireland.
“We don’t really get this at home,” he says.
But they do have real castles there, and his is looking pretty good.
NECN’s Jackie Bruno decided to test her skills at making stairs.
“Not too bad,” says Corson.
She also says Jackie is on her way, a master in the making.
So if you want to improve your sand skills or just take in the sights of these amazing sculptures, you can visit the festival here on Revere Beach starting Thursday July 12 until Sunday July 15.
Thursday night, they’re showing a movie on the beach. Saturday, they have a fireworks display, and, on Sunday, the winners are announced.
It’s all free to the public.