WESTERLY — Three giant sand sculptures in Westerly and Charlestown are the harbingers of an international competition scheduled for Columbus Day weekend at Misquamicut State Beach.
The contest, called Atlantis Rising, is being organized by the South County Tourism Council as a way to spice things up during normally slower October, said Louise Bishop, the group’s president and chief executive.
Where can I see the sand sculptures?
The sculptures, taken on June 23, are located outside the Sandy Shore Motel, Atlantic Avenue, Misquamicut; the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce, 1 Chamber Way (from Route 1), Westerly; and the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce, 4945 Old Post Rd., Charlestown.
They are free and open to the public.
Contrary to the obvious, according to Bishop, neither the first sculptures nor the sculptures to be made in October in Misquamicut are made of beach sand.
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When is the Westerly sand sculpture competition?
Rhode Island’s beach sand doesn’t compact well, so the tourism board has to transport sand from a quarry in the north of the state, 15 to 18 tons per sculpture for the October competition.
The sculptures, to be made in the parking lot of the state beach, will be open to the public from Friday 7 October with an admission ticket. Work on the sculptures, under a giant tent to protect against the weather, will begin Saturday, Oct.
Bishop said admission prices have not yet been set, but are expected to be “family-friendly.”
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Sand sculptors from Canada and Europe have already applied
By Friday, 11 participants had signed up, including some from Canada, the Netherlands and Italy, Bishop said. The top prize is $7,500, and entries will be judged on qualities including creativity, depth of design and execution.
The tourism board has budgeted $400,000 for the event, with some of the money coming from sponsors.
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