Whether you’re a repeat customer to Bamboo Beach Club Resort and Clearwater, or you’re planning your very first visit, we just wanted to remind you of all the great things to see and do.
Each year I look forward to this blog post because I can’t wait to see what the amazing artists did this year.
In an article from the Tampa Bay Times, Sharon Kennedy Wynne explores the 2016 Sugar Sand experience from an the artists’ point of view.
He made Bob Marley rise up, and the Beatles were bobbling along in a sandy submarine behind him. Then sand sculptor Dean Arscott, 29, turned his attention to Lady Gaga for his music-themed sand sculptures at this year’s Clearwater Beach Sugar Sand Festival. Of the many looks of Gaga, Arscott finds inspiration in her long, platinum blond hair and very winged eyeliner, like when she wowed the 2016 Super Bowl singing the national anthem. -Tampa Bay Times
[Arscott] was recruited by Mark Mason, the Sarasota founder of Team Sandtastic, which makes sand sculptures for shopping centers, theme parks, festivals and over-the-top weddings.
Last year’s festival drew 30,000 visitors to the exhibit and even more to free activities on the beach, including concerts, fireworks, movies, a giant sandbox for children, speed sculpting demonstrations and free sculpting classes.
Inside the walk-through display under a 21,000-square-foot tent, you can find Janis Joplin and Glenn Miller, the rockabilly legends of Sun Records and a sand symphony with a selfie spot to pretend you are the conductor.
Four of the sculptors will compete in a master sculptor competition. Visitors can vote by putting coins in buckets by their favorite sculpture, and the one that raises the most money — for Clearwater’s Sandy Lane Elementary — wins the artist a $5,000 prize.
The artists work with surprisingly few tools.
“We really don’t use anything too fancy,” said Karen Fralich, a Canadian artist, “just shovels and trowels, maybe a melon baller or a cake knife.”
The only thing added to the sand is “water and pressure,” she said. The wet sand is compacted into wood forms, and huge blocks of sand were placed around the exhibit area and the artists carved from the top down.
“People think we just play all day,” said Raymond Wirick, who was touching up the faces of the Andrews Sisters belting out a song with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. “But we put a lot of back into it.”
This year, 11 artists and teams competed. Stay tuned for a followup post with finalist and winner information!
Not only is it time once again for the famous Sugar Sand Festival in Clearwater, this year the event is the official Clearwater Centennial event celebrating the City of Clearwater’s 100th birthday.
The other thing that’s awesome about it is it takes place near Clearwater’s famous Pier 60, just a short distance from Bamboo Beach Club Resort.