Myths and Legends will be the theme for the 2019 Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition set to run July 12 through Aug. 18 at the Parksville Community Park.
Between an online survey and ballot boxes in several local grocery stores, 685 votes were collected for the three categories: Myths and Legends, Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Carnival.
Myths and Legends received 40 per cent of the votes with “Carnival” close behind with 36 per cent.
“They were neck and neck pretty much the whole time,” said event manager Wendy Sears. “Personally I think Myths and Legends is going to be a great theme for this year. Most of the sculptors actually did choose that because they were invited to vote as well. It’s so broad.”
Sears said sculptors can just “go for it” when it comes to choosing their design and that there’s no restrictions on what myth or legend can be used.
Last year’s theme was Wild Things, with sculptor Peter Vogelaar winning in the solo category for his Jimi Hendrix-inspired sculpture.
The application process for the sculptors ends Feb. 28 and Sears said the Beach Festival Society will have to choose between approximately 100 applications. She said the society does a lot of research on each sculptor before making their choices.
“This is professional level sculpting so they have to have competed in pretty substantial competitions in master levels,” Sears said. “We get applications from every corner of the world, Japan, Italy, Russia, the Netherlands, a lot from the States and then we have a lot of really talented Canadians too.”
The competition can accommodate 10 teams of doubles and 15 solo competitors.
“The calibre of the talent is really amazing, a lot of their sculptures look like something that comes out of a museum,” Sears said.
The Parksville Beach Festival Society has just launched their volunteer applications for gate ambassadors, that will remain open throughout March. Guidelines for gate ambassador applications can be found at www.parksvillebeachfest.ca/volunteer-application.