Sandy Oddities

The beach is the place to be if you’re a fan of swimming, laying out, or even beach volleyball. The biggest thing for me when I was a kid was building sandcastles. The possibilities were endless. When I got bored I’d turn my dad into the sandcastle (when he’d let me). That’s why I get excited when Hampton Beach’s Sandcastle Competition rolls around each June. I remember how much I loved shaping the sand with my little plastic bucket as a kid.


A castle greets spectators while a dragon slithers behind.

Since 2000, New Hampshire’s Hampton Beach has held the Master Sand Sculpting Competition. Sculptors from as far as the Netherlands have participated, and a good handful contribute every year including founder and master sculptor, Greg Grady. We went while the competition was still underway to get the backstory behind the sculpting, and to witness the dedication these artists have.

Below you’ll see everything we captured from this remarkable event, each piece enriched with bold detail in some form. But there can only be one winner, and Natalie and I happened to guess which sculpture won before it was even finalized. Enjoy our photos and see if you can do the same.


Founder Greg Grady’s annual sponsor sculpture


“Little Sleep Walker” by Dave Andrews. As with the others, it was a work in progress.


“Protector Of The Future” by Marc Lepire


Another angle of Lepire’s sculpture. Cool and creepy.


Beginning stages of Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga’s “Del Luna”


Sue McGrew‘s “Here Comes Trouble”


“Infinity” by Carl Jara


Karen Fralich’s “Mirror, Mirror”

So which do you think took home first place? If you guessed Carl Jara’s “Infinity” you would be correct. I had to post more photos of this sculpture just so you could see how much detail Jara put into this.


He’s thinking…but the question is…what is he thinking about?


He’s thinking he’s going to win.

If you’d like to see the finalized sculptures, click here. Now that you’ve seen the master sculptors’ work, what’s the coolest sand sculpture you’ve made?

Nearby Attractions: Home Is Where The Plate Is, The Little Trojan Horse and A Giant Hot Dog, Free Styling Upon Some Sculptures


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