Location: 26811 South Tamiami Trail | Bonita Springs, FL 34134
The 33rd Annual American Sand Sculpting Championship will make Fort Myers Beach its home for 10 days at the end of November and the first day of December.
The American Sand Sculpting Championship is the largest sand sculpting competition in the United States and people come from all over to compete. More than 30 sculptors from eight nations, including World Class Master Sand Sculptors and amateurs, will compete in a sequence of competitions to see who will be the next American Champion. The event will also include a kids’ activity area, quick sand speed sculpting, music, sand sculpting demonstrations and a vendor village. Food and beverages are available for purchase.
The last Saturday of the Fort Myers Beach, FL, event includes something special on Nov. 30. There will be a new viewing called “Sand Under The Stars” from 6 to 9 p.m. in which the sculptures will be illuminated and displayed under the night sky.
There will be free parking and a shuttle service at the Lovers Key grass lot at 8700 Estero Blvd. in Fort Myers Beach. Paid parking is also an option at businesses closer to the event, which is located behind the Wyndham Garden Hotel.
This event is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 22-Dec. 1.
There will be nearly 50 sculptures made by 10 advanced amateurs competing in the Florida State Championships, 10 Masters competing in doubles and 16 Masters competing in solos.
In addition to people creating impressive works of art, the American Sand Sculpting competition will feature more than 40 arts and crafts vendors, food and drinks, photo opportunities and a people’s choice award. The VIP pass has also been reinstated this year. It includes a complimentary event T-shirt, food and beverage, as well as access to a private sand lounge.
Last year, sculptors worked with about 600 gallons of water and 10 tons of sand for each of their masterpieces.
The 2018 Master Sculptor Solo Division winners included John Gowdy from the U.S. in first place with “A Tribute to the Wildland Firefighters of California,” Melineige Beauregard from Canada took home second place and the sculptor’s choice award with “You Make My Heart Burn,” and Seveline Beauregard, also from Canada, received third with “Dance and Breathe.”
As for the Master Sculptor Doubles Division, “Return to Oz” by Bruce Phillips and Jihoon Choi won first place, sculptor’s choice and people’s choice. John Gowdy and Laura Cimador-Gowdy took home second with “Dreaming Nonna’s Bedtime Stories” and “Connected/Disconnected” by Bert Adams and DeLayne Corbett received third.
The Advanced Amateur Division winners were “Alien Vacation” by Lisa Fewless in first place and “Pucker Up” by Amanda Bolduc.
In a local news article, President of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, Jacki Liszak, said the American Sand Sculpting Championship had a huge economic impact.
“With 50,000 people coming in and putting heads in beds and staying the night, we don’t have hard numbers, but it has a significant impact,” she said. “It’s also over the holiday week, so a lot of people turn this into their vacation.”
Thousands of people visit the Annual American Sand Sculpting Championship on Fort Myers Beach each year. Whether you planned your trip around the competition or you stumbled upon it during your stay, it’s worth taking half a day to visit the beach and admire the creative sculptures. If you want to stay as close as possible to the action, we can help accommodate you. We have rooms available at RL Ambassador Suites, which is about a five-minute walk from the site of the event. We also have a variety of rental homes available on Fort Myers Beach. Let us know which option is right for you, and our Vacation Planning Advisers will get started searching for it right away.