Sand sculptures hit the beach this weekend

PUBLISHED IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE JULY 9, 2015

Bring your shovel and bucket to the 18th annual Indiana Dunes State Park sculpture contest.
Bring your shovel and bucket to the 18th annual Indiana Dunes State Park sculpture contest.

On Saturday, sand takes on a new shapes the 18th annual sand sculpture contest at Indiana Dunes State Park.

Spectators and participants are welcome to begin their sculpting of the sand as early as 7 a.m. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and the judging of the sand art will take place at noon. Awards will be announced for the contest at 1 p.m.

Brad Bumgardener, interpretive naturalist for Indiana Dunes State Park, is very excited about the sand sculpture contest.

“We get excited every year to see how people interpret the theme,” he said. “The judges use the theme when picking the top ones for awards.”

The theme for the 18th annual sand sculpture contest is All Washed Up.

“This year we got inspiration for the theme from social media. People submitted ideas and voted on top picks,” said Bumgardener.

The annual sand sculpting competition also helps shape the local community of northwest Indiana, making it not only a sand trap, but a tourist trap as well.

“It’s a popular event every year. Locally, a lot of families meet here and participate, and it also brings people from out of the region in for local tourism,” said Bumgardener.

The sand sculpture competition is not just for the participants crafting the sand. According to Bumgardener, “It’s not an event that people have to participate in. It’s fun to be a spectator. There’s a people’s choice award as well, so people can come out and vote,” he said.

Participation in the sand sculpting contest is free, however, to enter Indiana Dunes State Park, there is a $7 gate fee for in-state residents and a $12 gate fee for out-of-state residents.

Beth Casey is a freelance writer for the Post-Tribune.

Indiana Dunes Sand Sculpture Contest

When: Saturday

Where: Indiana Dunes State Park, 1600 North 25 E, Chesterton

Price: Admission: parking is $7 in-state vehicles, $12 out-of-state vehicles

Details: 219-926-1390 orhttp://www.stateparks.in.gov/2980.htm

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