New Jersey Sandcastle Contest in Belmar

To see the State’s best sandcastle builders, head to Belmar’s 18th Avenue Beach on July 13 for the 25th Annual New Jersey Sandcastle Contest.
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No one’s summer is complete until he or she builds at least one sandcastle at the Jersey Shore. To see the state’s best builders, head to Belmar’s 18th Avenue Beach on July 13 for the 25th Annual New Jersey Sandcastle Contest. This all-day event is free for viewers and participants; you don’t even need a beach badge. Don’t let the name fool you –these sculptures are more than just castles. Past winners have included a boat, a lion, Shrek and a giant foot. There have even been entire cityscapes designed.

Entries are broken down into different categories (Families, 16 and older, 12–15-year-olds, 8–11-year-olds and 7 and under) and judged at noon. To participate all you need to do is be there at 8 a.m. for registration and be ready to build.

Whether you just want to wander through and watch these artists at work or try your hand at creating an entry, this is a great event for everyone in the family.

CREATING YOUR CASTLE

Here are some tips for the next time you start a sandy masterpiece:

Location, location, location: If you are too close to the water’s edge when the tide rises, your architecture career may end sooner than you’d planned. Before you start to build, try and pick a spot that is safe from the tide, but not too far because water is a big part of building.

The wetter, the better: Make sure you dig to the water table or mix a bucket of sand and water to make a grainy paste. You need really wet sand to make sure your sculpture stays put.

Kick the bucket: Instead of the traditional bucket-flipping technique, try to “carve” your sculpture. Pile sand a little higher and wider than the size you want the finished product to be and whittle away at it to create your design. It makes it easier to build less-traditional castles.

Creative cutlery: For decorating, use household items like popsicle sticks, toothpicks, cookie cutters and rubber stamps. They can create tons of texture and designs and help to make your creation one-of-a-kind.


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