On Wednesday

It’s time for sandcastles in Parksville!

The competition will be fierce and the resulting sculptures promise to be impressive

The doubles category will see fierce competition among ‘heroes and villains’ at the 15th annual Beachfest kicking off in Parksville this weekend.

An estimated 100,000 people are expected to attend the Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition, with the world’s best sculptors battling it out for a place at the world championships.

“Edith and Wilfred have won before, Peter Vogelaar, a five time singles winner is part of a duo this year and Francesca and Walter are going to be really exciting,” event manager Trish Smith said.

She lavished praise on all seven duos, hailing from everywhere from Parksville and the Kootenays to Quebec, the U.S., Holland and Italy.

Locals even have the duo of David Kaube and Mike Rebar to cheer on as sculptors work within the broad theme of ‘heroes and villains’ this year.

The 14 individual competitors are also coming from all over the world, including Damon Langlois and Fred Dobbs from the Island (Victoria), three from the Lower Mainland, some from various U.S. states and three from Europe.

As a qualifier, the winner in each category in Parksville is sent on to the World Championship of Sand Sculpting the following year in Atlantic City.

The strictly timed and judged sculpting time has been increased to 30 hours this year, with preparations starting a day early.

The competition officially kicked off today at 8 a.m. and continues through the weekend to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, with the winners announced at 5:30 p.m. See Tuesday’s edition of The NEWS for complete results and photos.

The public can only watch through the fence for the first couple days, but after Friday at 2 p.m. they are allowed into the sculpting area to watch the action up close.

The sculpting competition runs through the weekend, but then the results, with a simple water and glue combination applied upon completion, remain up for exhibition until August 16.

This year, organizers are erecting a fancy new souvenir tent, with more memorabilia than ever, and installed an underground pipe system to get water directly to each sculptor.

In previous years, competitors depended on giant bins of water and bucket brigades to keep the specially imported sand the right consistency. Now they each have a hose, with their own shut off, Smith said, pointing out it will be easier for them as well as better for water conservation.

The sand sculpting event is just the centre of a full summer of events in Parksville Community Park, with big complimentary events most weekends including live music Friday and Saturday nights, Art in the Park artisan market and the Lions Kite Festival (July 18-19), the Van Isle Shriners Show and Shine (Aug. 2) and the Kidfest and kid’s sandcastle competition (Aug. 15-16).

Watch The NEWS for more on other events closer to the dates and visit www.parksvillebeachfest.ca for lots more information.

Just Posted

Oceanside RCMP: ‘Steal from cars, go behind bars’

Man in custody after pair of vehicles broken into in French Creek; officer breaks ankle during arrest

Large ‘problematic’ tree removed from Qualicum Beach golf course

Lombardy Poplar tree taken down by town, member upset

RDN to share cost of Parksville’s goose harvest

City asked regional district to pay one-third of $35K expense

Parksville’s Arrowsmith Lodge and Cokely Manor celebrate 50 years

Week of ‘60s-themed activities starts on April 26

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man charged with daughters’ murders

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Most Read