Sand sculptors work on SPI’s Holiday Sandcastle Village

Local News

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (KVEO) — Sandcastle sculptors from all over have arrived on South Padre Island to work on this year’s Holiday Sandcastle Village.

This year will be the attraction’s third year on the island and is organized by SPI’s own master sand sculptor, Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga. 

Karen Fralich is from Toronto, Canada and is one of the sculptors invited to contribute to the Village.  

Her love for sand sculpting began 26 years ago, with a chance encounter at a pottery studio she worked at.  

“The lady who owned the studio started, dating a guy who was a professional sand sculptor and one day he really, really needed help on a project, and he asked me if I’d like to try it, and I did and never looked back,” said Fralich.   

She can list many countries where she’s participated in contests and commissioned sculptures.  

“Japan, Australia, Dubai, Germany, France,” she said.   

Today she works surrounded by 75 to 100 tons compacted sand that is waiting to be carved away by the carful artist. 

“Is it just sand? Yes it’s just sand, and water, and pressure. Sometimes spray a layer of Elmer’s glue to give it a crust, because the wind does like to edge sand sculptures,” she said. 

Fralich’s snowball fight sculpture is front and center, amongst the ten massive sculptures that are planned for the Village.  

“It’ll take us three more weeks to complete this and it should be open and ready for the public, I think, by thanksgiving,” she said.  

After nine days of carving, she’s placing the finishing touches before she moves on to the back side to start a whole new sculpture. 

“It’s a cheesy line but it’s true, if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” she said.  

The sandcastle attraction is free to the public, but donations are accepted. 

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