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Sand Like You’ve Never Seen It

Revere Beach hosts National Sand Sculpting Festival

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Rapunzel Sand Sculpture took first prize in the 2010 National Sand Sculpting Festival. Photo courtesy of Celebrateboston.com

One of Boston’s most popular summer events—the annual Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival—returns tomorrow, with 15 of the world’s best sand sculptors competing. Now in its eighth year, the four-day festival attracts artists from as far away as Portugal. The sculptors will compete for prize money, with a first-place payoff of $4,000.

Each of the professional sculptors is given 12 tons of sand and 24 hours (spread out over several days) to complete a sculpture. The sand comes all the way from Hudson, N.H., and is selected, according to the festival’s website, for “qualities that allow us to create more difficult, taller, sheerer sculptures.” The finished work goes on display starting tomorrow, Thursday, July 14, and can be seen through Sunday, July 17. Competition winners will be announced on Saturday at 8:30 p.m., followed by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.

Judges will grade the sculptors on the following criteria: overall impact/wow factor; originality; degree of difficulty; quality of carving; finish; and artistic impression.

Billing itself as the “largest sand-sculpting event in New England,” the festival will also feature a learning center and children’s village anchored by the New England Aquarium; a children’s and family sand-sculpting competition; and live entertainment Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

The Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival is free and open to the public. The competition begins on Wednesday, July 13; opening ceremonies are on Thursday, July 14, at 7 p.m.; the festival runs through Sunday, July 17. A complete list of events can be found here. To get to Revere Beach by public transportation, take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Government Center and switch to an outbound Blue Line trolley. Get off at the Revere Beach station.

John O’Rourke can be reached at orourkej@bu.edu.

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