Revere Beach looks glorious.
The seawater is warm.
The Sun is beating down.
And for the seventh year in a row, professional sand sculptors have set to work in making stunning pieces of art out of the Beach sand.
The Revere Beach National Sandsculpting Festival is in full swing this week, with sculptors arriving on Monday and immediately getting to work on the ever-popular demonstration site.
Work on that site continued through Tuesday, and the site has the storybook theme of ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales featuring Rapunzel.’
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair and come down to Revere Beach,” joked Ernie Garneau, executive director of the Revere Beach Partnership.
Competition coordinator Meredith Corson – a former competitor in the contest – said that carving will begin today, Weds. July 14th. She said that the field has been expanded to 10 sculptors and that the duration has been lengthened to four days.
“It’s a four-day competition this year and I think because of that you’ll see a lot more detail in the pieces,” said Corson. “It’s 30 hours of sculpting. That’s the most hours in a competition in all the United States.”
Corson also said that – in its 7th consecutive year – an appearance at the Revere Beach event has become a coveted invitation for any serious, international sculptor.
“This is the event to be at,” she said. “There are 10 spots. A lot of competitions have only seven or eight spots. Ours is by invitation only. We’re always getting new talent along with our old favorites. This year we have three new competitors. They’re heavy-hitters – all of them. They’re new to the industry and bring fresh, creative ideas. People love their work.”
Among those returning for another year is Sue McGrew of Tacoma, WA – who won last year’s competition with her sculpture ‘Mirror.’
Also returning to the competition is Revere’s own Matthew Martelli, a city employee who has turned in quality pieces each of the last several years.
Those officially in the competition are:
•Dan Doubleday, Treasure Island, FL
•Sue McGrew – Tacoma, WA
•Carl Jara – Cleveland, OH
•Dan Belcher – St. Louis, MO
•Matthew Martelli – Revere, MA
•Jonathan ‘Jobi’ Bouchard – Canada
•Stephane ‘Bob’ Robert – Austin, Quebec
•Damon Langlois – Canada
•Matt Long – Staten Island, NY
•Steve Topazio, Tiverton, RI
Participants will compete for a purse worth $15,000.
In addition to the overall winner, there will be the new Peter McCauley People’s Choice Award. The winner of this newly titled award will be chosen by a spectator vote on Saturday.
McCauley, who passed away last September, was the pre-eminent historian of Revere Beach.
The awards for the competition will be handed out at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
That will be followed by the ever-popular fireworks display over Revere Beach at 9:30 p.m. However, get your spots early because organizers are expecting even more people than last year – and crowds easily topped the 500,000 mark for the four-day competition.
One new offering for the kids is daily sandsculpting lessons conducted by former competitor Sandi Stirling. She will be giving lessons for kids age 5-12 on Weds., Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each class is limited to 10 children and all tools are provided. Classes each day are at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Sign ups are on site, and walk-ins are welcome if space is available.