CLEARWATER, Fla. (FOX 13) - It takes 1,000 tons of sand, a bit of water, and a massive amount of precision to recreate Rome’s Colosseum from sand. But that’s just what these master sculptors are doing to prepare for this year’s Sugar Sand Festival in Clearwater.
Sand from Clearwater Beach is piled high and then meticulously carved out to create masterpieces for the annual event.
“It’s just really exciting seeing the sand being brought to life,” said founder Lisa Chandler.
This year’s theme is “Sea the World, Journey Around the Globe,” and not only is it going to be a sight to see, but it’s also going to be a unique educational opportunity for children.
“It’s just interesting, all of the continents and landmarks; whether it be the Eiffel or some of the ruins, it’s just a great opportunity to not only see these artistic works of art, but also learn something during their visit,” Chandler said.
Our FOX 13 crew learned that kitchen tools can be used to help put on the finishing touches.
“A tool that you can use normally to make cakes, and I use it for making textures on the sand,” explained artist Martijn Rijerse.
Rijerse, a sculptor from Holland, was assigned the continent Africa. He explained what went into putting together the massive crocodile he sculpted for the event.
“First I laid out the big shape, then I wet it down properly and started making the details from the top of the bottom,” he said. “Because when you start on the bottom, obviously when you get to the top, all of your sand is going to fall on the bottom, and all of your work is ruined!”
Martijn and his wife Hanneke are the first-ever sculptor couple to be a part of the festival.
“We are really enjoying this time making what we love,” said Hanneke.
Artists like Hanneke and Martijn will be on hand the first weekend to discuss the process with visitors.
It’s the personal touch that Chandler says, keeps visitors coming back.
“Visitors come and stumble on the event in previous years, and then they come back and plan their vacations around it,” Chandler said.
Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at SugarSandFestival.com. Chandler says general admission costs $10, and children $8. Discounts are offered for AAA members, first responders, educators and military. Those tickets can be purchased at the gate.
PHOTOS: 2018 Sugar Sand Festival