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Try your hand at sand sculpting at Kauai’s Hawaii Sand Festival

Hawaii Sand Festival
An elaborate “Aloha” sculpture welcomes visitors to last year’s Hawaii Sand Festival along the beach overlooking Hanalei Bay on Kauai’s North Shore.
(Harneet Bajra)

If you have a knack for sand sculpting and love Hawaii, take yourself to Kauai this month where locals and tourists will compete in the annual Hawaii Sand Festival.

The festival gets underway 11 a.m. Aug. 13 to the left of Hanalei Pier along Kauai’s North Shore. Look for the intricately-sculpted “Aloha” sign on the beach, which overlooks beautiful Hanalei Bay.

Thousands of spectators flock to the festival each year to see the amazing range of sculptures, which in the past have included dragons, mountains, a submarine and an over-sized gorilla.

Contestants build a sand castle during a prior Hawaii Sand Festival.
Contestants build a sand castle during a prior Hawaii Sand Festival.
(Kit Furderer )
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About 300 people participate in building roughly 100 masterpieces from sand and water. It’s free to enter too.

“They end up shoveling for a long period of time,” organizer Julian Miller said of those who spend time creating large sculptures. 

The day begins with a helpful tutorial led by Kauai resident Jeff Peterson. In addition to being an expert sand sculptor, he not-so-coincidentally makes his living as a commercial builder.

It’s a sand submarine, not a yellow submarine, from a past festival.
It’s a sand submarine, not a yellow submarine, from a past festival.
(Matt Feeser )

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There’s no charge to enter the competition or to view the works of art. Judges will award prizes in several categories.

Visitors and participants are encouraged to bring bottles of water and sunscreen for the day on the beach.

Info: Hawaii Sand Festival

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