For more than 30-years, architects with a penchant for sand rather than brick and mortar have flocked to the shores of Rehoboth Beach for the annual sandcastle contest. Expect the beach to come alive with temporary seashell homesteads, mermaids, sea creatures and everything in between as participants compete to see who will win this year’s event.
WHAT TO EXPECT
1 All ages
Thankfully, playing in the sand has no age limits. Anyone with an idea and the determination to haul countless buckets of ocean water can participate in the sandcastle contest. But, to make it fair, participants are divided into three age categories: six and younger, seven to 14-years-old and 15-years-old and older.
And, like the Olympics, there’s room for both individual and group efforts. But, unlike the Olympics, there is no limit to the number of people allowed on each team. So, if it’s going to take a village to make a village, recruit all the people needed to make that happen. However, no team switching is allowed. Once a person is committed to a team, he or she can’t simultaneously be on another team, too.
2 Do an anti-rain dance
This is a no-brainer but the sandcastle contest is weather dependent. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and if it’s raining, everything gets put on hold and everybody has to wait it out. Officials won’t wait all day, though. If the weather does not clear up or starts to get worse, the event will be cancelled until next year.
3 Early birds get the best spot
According to officials with the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, this event brings out a ton of participants and spectators. This year, they are expecting more than 100 teams and more than 800 participants to be clamoring for the perfect lot of sand. So, get there early. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and sculptures can be started at any time after that.
Shovels and buckets have to be put down and the last seashell embellishment must be placed by 3 p.m. when the judging starts. The winners will be announced at 5 p.m.
Other rules to remember include the following: Piles of sand must be formed by manpower only. No motorized or mechanized assistance allowed; Decorations can only include objects found naturally on the beach; Only creations made within pre-set boundaries will be judged; And, sculptures can only be dampened with water. No sticky stuff allowed.