SEASIDE - More than one billion grains of sand will join forces Friday and Saturday in front of the Turnaround to help sand sculptors create works of art.

No experience is necessary to get sand between the toes at the Seaside Chamber of Commerce's Sand Sculpture and Beach Festival. Festival organizers will offer a free workshop on the beach at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19 in front of the Turnaround. Expert sand sculptor Bert Adams will teach techniques and tips to make an impressive sand sculpture. Adams will provide tools, but students should bring their own shovels and buckets.

But if you prefer to watch, five masters also will be on the sand, including Billings, Mont. sand carver Bill Dow. Dow frequently sculpts Lewis and Clark scenes and is known for his human and animal realism.

"This is a fun, family event," said Committee Chairman Ed Thatcher. "That's the number one rule: you must have fun. If you're not having fun, you shouldn't be there."

Competition will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Winning teams will be announced at 4 p.m.

All material is provided on the beach: sand and water. All sand used in the sculpture must be from within the team's plot. The only decorations allowed are seaweed, seashells and other biodegradable, non-human manufactured materials found on the beach.

And no fancy, gas- and battery-powered tools are allowed. "Human-powered" tools including masonry, garden or household implements, shovels and tampers are allowed. Forms are also allowed, as long as the sand is sculpted and textured by hand after the form is removed. There is no limit on buckets and sprayers.

Teams may be created with no more than 10 adults inside a plot, and unlimited team members under age 10. Unlimited team members of all ages also may be located outside the plot.

All plots are 20- by 20-feet, except for the children and family divisions, which are 12- by 12-feet. Fees are $5 per person for open team division, $5 per person for novice team division and $10 per family for the family team division. Children's teams are free.

Just for fun, festival-goers can get their photo taken in a Christmas scene created by "Hard Sand Cafe," a world-famous sand sculpture team. The photos are often used as Christmas cards during the holidays. Donations will be accepted.

Organizers have planned for between 10,000 and 13,000 people, depending on the weather, Thatcher said.

Build a better sand sculptureUse these tips from to build a better sand sculpture. Make sure you have plenty of water nearby. It's the "glue" that holds all that sand together.

Start by creating a mound of very wet sand, and then build your sculpture from that mound with other layers of wet sand. Do not pound, push, pack or pummel sand into the shape you want. Jiggle wet sand with gentle pressure to distribute water consistently. This will bind the layers to each other. To create a tower, use smaller handfuls of sand as the tower rises. This will keep it from being top-heavy and toppling over.

To create a wall, create bricks from handfuls of wet sand. Lay them end-to-end for the desired length, then layer the bricks for the desired heighth.


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