Family and friend teams invited to learn and compete side by side with top sand sculptors for fun and prizes

LONG BEACH, Wash. – June 14, 2016 – Perched at the edge of the continent, Sandsations, one of the nation’s best sand-sculpting competitions and exhibitions, will be take place on July 23, in Long Beach, Washington. Participants of all ages and levels of experience will build fantastic creations, while racing against the incoming tide. Sculpting starts at 6AM and finishes at noon. Spectators are welcome.

“It’s amazing to watch teams of all kinds create these magnificent displays from tiny grains of sand,” said Karl Hintz, Sandsations chair person. “The results are always fascinating, at times humorous, sometimes meaningful, always creative.”

Build up to the event begins on July 19, with tons of beach sand dumped at the Bolstad approach in Long Beach. Master sculptors, including Ed Mah and Scott Dosch, can be seen carving from July 19 through 22, with their creations on display through July 24. People are encouraged to vote for their favorites.

The action moves to the beach on Friday afternoon, July 22, with free sand-sculpting lessons and late registration. Weather permitting, after the lessons there will be a bonfire, S’more kits for the first 100 people, a dance on the boardwalk from 7 until 10PM, and a fire spinning exhibition at 10PM to wrap up the evening.

For the main competition on Saturday, buckets, shovels, trowels, forms and water will be used to transform simple sand into massive, imaginative sculptures. Masters will begin building at 6AM and teams and solos will start at 8AM – all racing the incoming tide and waves, before they sweep the beach clean.

More free sand-sculpting lessons will take place at noon as judging begins. Winners and prizes will be awarded starting at 1PM, when the people’s choice award for the downtown sculptures will be announced. There is also a full lineup of entertainment scheduled at the Pavilion on Bolstad from noon until 6PM.

The contest takes place at the shoreline adjacent to the Long Beach boardwalk and near the Bolstad beach approach.

Registration fees range from $65 for masters to $1 each for children under 12.

“At the end of the day, watching the incoming waves slowly wash the beach back to a blank canvas is perhaps equally impressive,” added Hintz.

All summer long, two-hour sand-sculpting lessons will be available for a fee to small groups of up to 10 people on Wednesdays through Sundays, in Long Beach. People will gain hands-on experience from concept and technique through build and sculpting. Sign up at

Long Beach is Washington’s quintessential beach town with access to 28 miles of wide, silver-sand beach, a one-half mile long boardwalk, 8.5-mile Discovery Trail, two historic lighthouses, wildlife refuges, as well as state and national parks. Visitors enjoy colorful kite and gift shops, galleries and one-of-a-kind museums, as well as beach treats – double scoops of ice cream and saltwater taffy. Ocean view and waterfront lodging and great places to eat round out the mix.

For event details and online registration, please access For destination information, call the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau at 360.642.2400 or access

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Featured Masters

Ed Mah

Ed is a long time sand sculptor from Seattle, Wash. Ed carved for years with the Legendary Orbital Sanders Team. This year he will carve with a team put together by  Michael Velling. An architect and wood carver (known for his Northwest Native-style wood masks), Ed’s style is wide ranging.

Russ Leno

A retired engineer living is Shelton, Russ carves just about anything. He is an experienced sand carver, chainsaw wood carver, snow and ice carver, and perhaps best known as the pumpkin carver at the Washington State Fair.

Scott Dosch

Scott is the last full-time “Sand Busker” in the USA. Traveling the country carving sand at crowded beaches and getting paid by tips, he carves sand into mermaids, children and veterans. Scott is looking forward to having three days to carve something big. Expect his piece to be a crowd favorite.

Lisa Donze

A graduate of Olympia’s Sand in the City® contest, Lisa carves sand, snow, ice and works with Exconicus producing art instruction materials. Lisa is from the Shelton area.

Eric Hawley

Eric’s introduction to sand sculpture was as a spectator at the World Championship in Harrison Hot Springs, BC. His interest sparked, he started asking questions, which got him in touch with Bert Adams. Since then, he’s been carving on teams and as a solo master with a unique style. He’s also taken up pumpkin carving. Eric’s day job is as an elevator mechanic for the University of Washington, Seattle.

Featured Teams/Masters Teams

Form Finders, Olympia, WA

Form Finders is headed up by Amos Calendar and Jim Butler, both graduates for the Olympia Sand in the City®.

Form Finders usually makes wonderful vignettes that tell a story. As an eight-person team, they move a lot of sand, and will fill out their plot. Expect laughter to come from the crowd around their plot.

True Grit

Long time master sculptor (and past World Champion), Michael Velling has put together a new team, pulling sculptors from several teams around the Northwest. What they will make this year is a big secret; expect it to be popular.

The Jessop Family

The Jessop family has been moving up the ranks, from novice to intermediate, and this year to the Masters category in Long Beach. Expect castles with a message.

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