Professional Temporary Structures at the 84th Annual Great Sand Sculpture Contest

Posted: August 17, 2016 in Art, Events, Long Beach
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The 84th Annual Great Sand Sculpture Contest of Long Beach concluded this past weekend to its largest turnout in history. Taking place on the sunny shores of Granada Beach just south of the Belmont Shore neighborhood, this all-ages contest brought out the local community and professional artists & sculptors from all over the nation to enjoy a weekend on the beach and to celebrate the joys of summer. In the previous years, this prestigious contest saw few restrictions, as anyone could enter a team for free and build whatever they preferred on Saturday, while the organizers reserved Sunday mainly for sightseeing and photo opportunities. This year, the organizers added more structure and rules to the contest, creating a smaller time frame to get everything done in one weekend.

This year, the organizers separated the days into two different categories: professionals, and community. On Saturday, professional sand sculptors could register to carve a larger sculpture representing something symbolic from any work of literature. These professionals competed for an actual cash prize, unlike the community teams that participated for gifts. The community participated on Sunday, gathering teams from around Southern California to build sand sculptures of their own, also themed to literature. None of these community teams built anything to match the scale of the professionals, but they still crafted some mighty breathtaking works of art. The professionals managed to stay relevant by creating themes ranging from traditional themes to things personally relevant to current events. One participant took advantage of the current Pokémon GO craze to create a sculpture based on that game, and to no one’s surprise, it drew the biggest crowd.

As part of Long Beach’s annual summer celebrations, this sand sculpture contest will return again next year to the same place at the same time and approximately the same weekend. If you feel like a visionary yet want to go to the beach, why not do both and participate next year?


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