Any child who's spent an afternoon on the beach knows the joy of building a sandcastle. Minutes turn into hours and before you know it the sun is setting on a masterpiece built with buckets, wet sand and shovels. More and more adults are rediscovering this fun and rewarding beach pastime. Along with this resurgence has come an interesting sandcastle building competitions. You'll even find people who are professional sandcastle builders.
If you've been honing your sand sculpting skills on the beach this summer, there's still time to get in on competitions yet this year. Here are a few to check out for 2012.
North American Sandsculpting Championship
September 28 - October 7
Virginia Beach, Virginia
This is the signature event of the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival, recognized as one of the top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeastern Tourism Society. Sand sculptors from around the world will be on hand for 10 days of competition. They'll create 22 sculptures that visitors can view from walkways throughout the day and evening. The sculptures are protected from the elements, and you'll be able to take part in teaching demos and "QuickSand" competitions.
October 4 - 7
South Padre Island, Texas
Some of the world's best sand artists sculpt big, beautiful, dream-like creations. There's also family lessons, vendors selling art supplies, treasure hunts, photo opportunities with the artists, competitions for amateurs and school age kids, and much, much more. The 25th anniversary of Sandcastle Days will be held at Clayton's Beach Bar & Grill (which claims to be the biggest beach bar in Texas).
The American SandSculpting Championship Festival
November 16 - 26
Fort Myers Florida
Walk on the sugar sands of Fort Myers just once and you'll know it's perfect for creating sand castles. The American SandSculpting Championship, also recognized as a top 20 event by the Southeastern Tourism Society, will feature sculptures from around the world competing for multiple championship titles. This years event, the 26th annual, will be held at the Holiday Inn on Fort Myers Beach.
If you can't make one of these sandcastle festivals, then check out some other options here and here.