Gov. Charlie Baker joined Mayor Brian Arrigo and city officials at the opening ceremonies Friday night for the 2019 International Sand Sculpting Festival.
Baker drew a tremendous reception upon his arrival, obliging numerous requests for photographs before taking the stage to deliver his remarks.
Jeffrey Turco, president of the Revere Beach Partnership, welcomed the large crowd assembled on Revere Beach Boulevard to the speaking program.
“The Revere Beach Partnership is excited to celebrate 16 years of this International Sand Sculpting Festival,” said Turco. “We have loved to watch it grow every single year. This board of volunteers comes together each year to bring programming to Revere Beach that enhances the economic health, social health, and environmental health of this, America’s first public beach.”
Mayor Brian Arrigo was the first official to address the large crowd.
“It is an honor and pleasure to be here tonight,” said Arrigo. “We have the opportunity to showcase the city of Revere and Revere Beach. Each year we have one weekend where we get to show off all that’s great about the city. It takes all of these people and then some to make a great weekend happen. It also takes great weather so we’ve got a great forecast and it’s really special to have this type of event.”
The mayor said the festival attracts “incredible artists” from all over the world who come to Revere Beach “and the city of Revere becomes an international destination and that really is an incredible thing.”
“I want to thank the Governor, the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mass. State Police, the Revere Police and Revere Fire Department, all of whom collaborate to make this weekend a great weekend,” said Arrigo.
The mayor lauded Gov. Baker, stating, “I cannot think of a better partner to have in the corner office of the Statehouse. We are lucky to have a great state delegation, led by Speaker DeLeo, Sen. Boncore, and Rep. RoseLee Vincent – and we also have a great friend and a big supporter of Revere Beach, a gentleman from Swampscott – Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker.”
Baker requested that everyone take a look at the majestic view of the beach and the ocean, remarking that “this is one of the truly great beachfronts in America, and it’s been that way for ever.”
“This great opportunity that we all have to celebrate this beach, this community, and these works of arts is very special – and I’ve been coming to this event long before I was governor, just to see it and experience what this is all about,” said Baker. “I’m not surprised that one million people come to this every year from near and far, because this is the kind of event that brings people out, as well it should.”
Baker extended the state’s greetings from Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo of Winthrop, who has also been a huge supporter of the festival.
DCR Commissioner Leo Roy, State Sen. Joseph Boncore, and State Rep. RoseLee Vincent also spoke during the program.
Vincent felt right at home on the stage and rightfully so. “This is not only America’s first public beach, but it’s my home and it’s been the home for my family for over four generations,” said Vincent. “We are proud of Revere every day, but never more so than we have this festival. You look around and it’s like Christmas in July when you look at these beautiful sculptures here. It’s just an amazing sight to see on our beautiful beach.”
Shortly after the program, Jeffrey Turco and his wife, Melissa, took a walk along the row of sand sculptures on the beach. Several residents recognized the 6-foot-6-inch Turco and thanked him and the Partnership for their superior leadership.
“It’s going to be great weather all weekend, the people are turning out in droves, and the sculptors are world class,” said Turco. “We love the centerpiece with the theme celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and we think they are going to enjoy the presentation.”
Under perfect sunny skies, one million visitors attended the festival, again solidifying its status as one of the premier events on the summer calendar among area residents and tourists alike.