Sandcastle Days returns after pandemic cancels 2020 festival

Local News

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (ValleyCentral) — After being canceled because of COVID-19 the annual Sandcastle Days Festival makes its return in 2021 to South Padre Island.

The event takes place behind Clayton’s Bar & Grill from Sept. 27 through Oct. 3.

10 master sand sculptors from all over the world, even as far as Russia, will begin building Wednesday afternoon and end at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

There will possibly be amateur sculptors as well, according to Sandcastle Days Festival event organizer, Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga.

Sculptor names will be tossed into a hat and drawn at random to determine where their sculptures will be.

One master sculptor and five-time world sand sculpting champion, Karen Fralich, is planning to sculpt something dragon-related, as that is her favorite subject.

The sandcastle judges will then score each sculpture and announce the winners at 5 p.m.

“I think they’re going to build some amazing things and I think everybody needs to come out here and see it because pictures just don’t do it justice,” said Weirenga. “You gotta get out and walk all around and see to get the full impact of the sculptor’s vision.”

There will also be live music on stage at Clayton’s Bar & Grill, bounce houses for the children, a bull ride, vendors, and free sandcastle lessons.

The sculpting will be taught by a few of the master sculptors. Weirenga suggests bringing a bucket and a shovel.

Fralich said she may be teaching some of the sandcastle lessons, and if so, she’ll be teaching everyone how to sculpt cats.

“It’s gonna be amazing,” added Fralich. “People don’t realize how cool sand sculpting can be.”

The festival was started 34 years ago by Walter “Amazin’ Walter” McDonald and Weirenga, both South Padre Island residents, as a way to demonstrate the qualities of the sand and the importance of the island’s coastal shores.

An initial local family-friendly event turned into a qualifier for the World Championships of Sand Sculpting where over 30,000 fans get a chance to watch the sand come to life.

Weirenga is expecting their normal crowd times three this year and suggests getting to the beach as early as possible.

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