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Springboard Public Relations
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For Immediate Release:

SCULPTORS TO SHAPE SAND

Up to 2,000 expected at annual contest Wednesday in Belmar

BY ERIK LARSEN
COASTAL MONMOUTH BUREAU

BELMAR (July 11, 2006) - The 20th annual Sand Castle Contest is expected to draw as many as 2,000 spectators to the borough Wednesday, according to the D'Jais Bar at 18th and Ocean avenues, which sponsors the event.

Registration and sand-castle building start at 8 a.m. on the beachfront in the area of 18th Avenue, and judging will take place from noon to 1 p.m. A rain date is scheduled for Thursday.

It's free to all participants. There are several children's divisions and a 16-and-over group, according to Belmar tourist officials.

Chuck Feld, a professional sand artist from West Chester, Pa., has said the key to picture-perfect sand castles and other works of beach art is to start with a good base of well-packed sand. Then let creativity be your guide.

Feld and fellow sand sculptor Bill Cichone were more than up to the challenge at last year's contest. The pair spent nearly six hours carving a beach-bum Godzilla — a lounging lizard sporting a baseball cap, suntan lotion and flip-flops — crushing a small sand castle along Belmar's shoreline.

In previous years, judges have had to review 300 entries, and prizes were awarded in six categories based on creativity, resourcefulness, originality and accessorizing.

Sand-castle builders are a dedicated breed, and many have taken part in the contest in previous years. Some have developed successful sand-castle building strategies.

They decide in advance on a simple shape — an American flag or a huge sun, perhaps — then stake out their area, build a well-packed, slightly moistened base and start carving away.

One way to make the sand art seem even larger, past participants have said, is to dig a gully around it to create the illusion of increased height and depth. Others have added color with ground chalk.

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