SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Despite heavy rain and thunderstorms that have been passing through the Rio Grande Valley these past few days, Sandcastle Days sand sculptors have been giving it their all to create sculpted works of art.
This week, sand sculptors from around the country and world have been competing in the Island’s 33rd Annual Sandcastle Days competition that’s being held on South Padre Island at Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill.
According to the event’s schedule, Saturday is the master sand sculptors’ last day of sculpting and adding final touches to their competing creations.
Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga, a master sand sculptor and Sandcastle Days founder, said it’s the first time in the event’s 33 years that it’s been affected by rain.
Wierenga explained that sculpting when it’s raining doesn’t work very well because everything sort of just melts, so the sculptors are trying their best to work with these weather conditions.
“A lot of the sculptures have been messed up including the demo, but there’s still stuff to see and the sculptors are kind of hanging around and whenever it stops raining they jump on it and start carving,” Wierenga said on Friday. “Our sculptors do not give up. After the heavy rain, they’re right back at it.”
The annual event had a brief pause in 2020 due to the pandemic. Wierenga and master sand sculptor Walter “Amazin Walter” McDonald founded the event 34 years ago.
Wierenga said this year’s event has an amazing crew of sculptors from around the world.
“We have a sculptor from Russia this year, which is a first,” she added. “We’ll have 10 master sand sculptors and probably about that many in the amateur division as well.”
Sandcastle Days has free admission and also features live music, kids’ activities, vendors and free sandcastle lessons.
Registration for amateur sand sculpting divisions opens at 8 a.m. Saturday. The amateur competition begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. This competition is open to kids, families, groups and individuals.
The Unlitter Campaign’s 10th annual Trashion Show will also be held Saturday starting at 4 p.m. The show will have a “Straw Wars Theme” this year.
Following the Trashion Show, an awards ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m. for amateur and master sand sculpting divisions.
The last day of the event is scheduled for Sunday beginning at 9 a.m.
Free sandcastle lessons will start at 10 a.m. The Sandcastle Days Mercado will be open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to close.
The event will conclude with a People’s Choice Awards that will be held at 3 p.m.
Wierenga said those who aren’t able to attend this week’s event to look at sand sculptures, still have a chance to visit the Island’s Sandcastle Village, which has sand sculptures in it all year-round.
Some of the competing sculptors of Sandcastle Days plan to stay around the area for a week or two after the contest and do some more work at the Sandcastle Village, which is located across from Louie’s Backyard.
“If they miss it this time, all hope is not lost,” she said. “There’s still great sand sculpture to see on South Padre.”