As another year’s Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Festival came to a close, we wish there were just a few more days of the incredible sculptures. This year’s event proved to be one of the best yet with so many people coming to see the sculptures, that traffic was backed up all day on Siesta Key. Master Sculptors came from all over to showcase their talents and to give their best effort to win the coveted 1st place ribbon for both Judge’s Choice and the People’s Choice. This year’s event ran from November 10th thru the 14th.
The winner of this year’s Judge’s Choice as well as the People’s Choice went to “Sneak Peek,” made by sculptors Abram (Abe) Waterman and Amazin’ Walter MacDonald. This tremdously detailed piece had two children ‘peeking’ through the old man’s eyes into a world of unknown and exciting worlds beyond. You are able to actually see through the man’s eyes into the other world and it’s absolutely fascinating. Check out the video with a 360 view of the winning sculpture!
There were a variety of great side events which occurred throughout the Festival such as sand sculpting demonstrations, speed sculpting, amateur sand sculpting contests and live music in the Party Tent. Ari and the Alibis, Gypsy Star, Tropical Ave. Band, The Big Bamboo Band, and Sarasota’s very popular Reggae band, Democracy were just a few of the great entertainers to bring fun, island sounds to the beach. The Vendor Village was also packed full of fun things to wear, eat, drink and enjoy.
A very welcome addition to this year’s festival was the Mobi-Mat® and beach wheelchairs. If you haven’t yet seen the Mobi-Mat®, it is a mat that is placed onto the sand which is made of a corrugated non-slip portable material which is makes ADA beach access possible. The mat is also quite useful for everyone. It makes traversing the soft, crystal white sands a little easier. Mobi-Mat® is a 100% recycled polyester roll and its production contributes to the environment by utilizing recycled plastics and is also recyclable.
Recently named America’s #1 Beach, the Siesta Key Crystal Classic has become a favorite of the professional sand sculptors who have competed here. A list of world-renowned sculptors competed this year. For full biographies of the artists, check out the Official webpage of the Siesta Key Crystal Classic. Sculptors have just a short 24 hours to create their sand masterpieces which they carve out of huge mounds of sand which is moved in by large earth moving equipment. It’s quite a sight to see how the sand starts and then ends in such gorgeous, intricate pieces of art, which some sculptors have remarked that almost look like they were ‘carved in marble.’
We are truly blessed to have such special sand on this island and look forward with great anticipation for this event every year. Next year’s event will commence on November 10th and we look forward to sharing more pictures and videos.
Here is a peek of all the sculptures that we saw this year….Enjoy!!
TIP: Make sure to book early to ensure your accommodations are secured so as to not have to worry about driving and parking to the beach. Being able to take advantage of walking to the beach or using one of the many Free Ride options which are available on the island which run on tips Only. It’s a great resource to not have to spend time parking. There are also public transportation options available with the SCAT routes 10 or 11 to Siesta Key.