'Sea America' at this year's Sugar Sand Festival

- It’s been named one of the best beaches in the world. This weekend, Clearwater Beach is also home to some amazing works of art: Dozens of amazing sand sculptures are on display at the annual Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival.

“We’re actually celebrating what we consider to be our number-one natural asset here on Clearwater Beach.  It is our sugary sand and world-famous Pier 60 sunsets,” event organizer Lisa Chandler offered.

This year’s theme is “Sea America.” Artists have been working for days to create the sculptures, and that work will continue over the next 10 days.  There are no fancy tricks or special effects -- just some water and 1,000 tons of Clearwater Beach sand.

“We fly in master sculptors from all over the country,” Chandler added. “Some came from as far away as the Netherlands, Mexico, Canada.  It’s just truly a beautiful work of art.”

The sculptures are all under cover, so there’s no chance of showers ruining their work.  Of course, that doesn’t mean they will be around forever.

“The ephemeral nature of what we do is part of the draw,” explained sculptor Mark Mason.  “It’s what you did as a child, but on this scale.”

The festival opens Friday and runs through next weekend.  Tickets are $10 for most adults and $6 for kids. They are also hosting a Tampa Bay Lightning watch party on Monday.

For more details, click over to www.sugarsandfestival.com.

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