By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Sand sculpture aficionados will be in their glory when the 2016 International Sand Sculpting Festival comes to Revere Beach on July 22-24.
Sculptors from all over the world will compete on Americaâ€™s first public beach as they have been for the last 13 years. This yearâ€™s features include a special app for Apple phones and hot air balloon rides depending on the weather.
This yearâ€™s theme is science, technology and innovation and hundreds of thousands of people are expected to visit Revere BeachÂ over the three-day period.
This yearâ€™s festivities will include the Master Sand Sculpting Festival, a food truck festival, fireworks extravaganza, amusements, a live music festival and more.
The festival opens each day at 10 a.m. and runs until 10 p.m. except on Sunday when it ends at 8 p.m. On Friday, July 22 live music will be held at the bandstand from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
On Saturday, July 23 the Revere Catholic Youth Choir, Decades of Rock, Smokin Joe and the Henchmen, Dalton and the Sheriffs and Overdrive will perform throughout the day. From 2-4 p.m. on Saturday the peopleâ€™s choice voting will be held to select their Sand Sculpting winners.Â The awards ceremony, will be hosted by Fox25 anchor Victoria Welch.
The fireworks extravaganza will be held Saturday night at 9 p.m.
On Sunday there will be an adult amateur sand building competition, a kidsâ€™ competition. Live music will be played throughout the day with District 21 and music from Night Shift closing down the festivities for yet another year.
Sand sculptors for the Solo Competition are as follows; Melinage Beaureguard of Montreal, Canada, Guy Oliver-Deveau of Montreal, Canada, Pael Mylnikov of Moscow, Russia, Benjamin Probanza of Acapulco, Mexico, Kevin Crawford of Perth, Australia, Jonathan â€˜Jobiâ€™ Bouchard of Montreal Canada, Jooheng Tan of Singapore, Marielle Hesseles of The Netherlands, Nikolay Torkov of Moscow, Russia, and Leonardo Ugolini of Italy.
Duo Competitors for this year are; David Durcharme of British Columbia with Enguerrand David of Belgium, Steve Topazio of Tiverton, RI with Deborah Barrett/Cutulle of Saugus, MA, David Belcher of St. Louis, MO with Marianne van den Broek of Key West, FL, Paul and Remy Hoggard of Bulgaria, and Abe Waterman of Prince Edward Island with Morgan Rudluff of Santa Cruz, CA.
Winners from the 2015 competition were color winner Melineige Beauregard of Montreal with her sculpture of â€œOpen Your Mind and Let Your Spirit Fly.â€ She also won the Peopleâ€™s Choice Award. First place in the duo competitionÂ was Iilya Filmonster and David DeCharme with â€œSalt of the Earth.â€
The Revere Beach Partnership consists of an Executive Director, a volunteer Board of Directors, and many other committed volunteers that share a love for Revere Beach.
Our flagship event is the Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival (ISSF), now in its 13th year.
Funds raised during the ISSF are used to fund events throughout the remainder of the year; including establishing a capital plan to fund major improvement projects that aim to strengthen the fabric of the Revere Beach community.
Revereâ€™s three-mile crescent beach, Americaâ€™s first public beach, is a beautiful natural resource located in an urban area. A century ago, Revere Beach thrived as a recreational hub. Following a devastating blow from the Blizzard of 1978 as well as poor water quality in Boston Harbor ,Â the beach wallowed in disrepair. In the 1980â€™sÂ condominiums started to be built on land where amusements once stood.Â However, people stopped coming to Revere Beach, and the beach continued to slid into decline. Realizing that something must be done to save this precious resource, a Revere Beach Citizens Planning committee was held in 2001. From that committee, the Revere Beach Partnership was formed.
Erin Lynch, the executive director of the Revere Beach Partnership, said this is the 13th year for her doing this. This year they also hope to be able to put some special effects into the center sculpture which includes all the sponsors. The partnership is also the same organization that puts on the Kite Festival, The Pumpkin Festival and the Arts Festival.
She added that the silliest question usually asked is â€œIs it real sand?â€ In fact it is and it stays up well after the event until people start picking on the sculptures and climbing on them. At that point the DCR has to bulldoze the the 500 tons of sand used.
Anyone interested in making a contribution to the festival my go to reverebeachpartnership.com