Weekends are busy in the summer, so if you missed seeing the winners of the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture contest, it’s certainly understandable. We are here for you, not to worry. The artistry is just spectacular. I can’t even manage a simple bucket sand castle. So, I’m in awe of these artists and the work and dedication that goes into even competing in the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Classic.
Now, this isn’t your kids’ kind of sand sculptures. This is serious business. The winner goes home with $6000. And there are other monetary prizes up for grabs. And to think it all started back in 2000 with “twenty-five cents. One quarter. The New Hampshire Quarter to be precise,” according to the Hampton Beach Village District. The website relays that it started when the U.S. Mint commissioned local artist, Greg Grady, to make a “larger than life replica” of the tail side of the New Hampshire quarter, in the sand. He was given tens tons of sand to do it. And Grady created his sand art during the Hampton Beach Children’s Festival. That was the humble beginning. The next year is when the sand sculpture contest became an official thing.
Now, there are many artists involved in the spectacular Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture contest. It has become a huge tourist attraction and it now covers three days. The artists are only allowed to use sand and water. Oh, and of course their creative genius. Hamptonbeach.org says it’s now become the “largest Masters competition in the Northeast United States.” But wait, it’s the largest…and it’s invitation only! There’s a total purse of $25,000 for the competitors.
Good news. If you weren’t “invited” to see the competition in action, you can still get a look at the works of art at Hampton Beach. The spectacular winning Hampton Beach sand sculptures will be lit for viewing each night through June 26. Organizer and founder Greg Grady’s son is a competitor. You can meet the competitors and see the winning sculptures here.