Creatives of all ages congregated again at Delaware Seashore State Park on July 8 to partake in an almost four-decade-long tradition. Under the hot sun, contestants toiled away at their castles and sculptures from the moment they signed up, for free, on arrival at the beach until 1 p.m., when the judging commenced. The event has been a staple of Delaware Seashore State Park summers for 37 years.
Contestants were judged on originality, creativity, complexity, aesthetic appeal and use of natural materials.
The 12-and-under division’s first-place winner was the Bethany Babes: Luca, Christian, Maya, Reese and Avery from Ocean View, for their sand sculpture titled “Hermie Hut.”
Taking first place in the open division was the Shelly family: Kelly, Dennis, Justin, Doug and Charline, from Manheim, Pa. They won a $50 gift certificate to the Lighthouse for crafting a sculpture of a lighthouse.
Although the contest is free of charge, many competitors go on to sign up for many of the park’s programs. Program revenue goes to supporting future educational programs. Local businesses enable the competition to provide a prize for every entrant.
The task of judging all of the entries went to four judges. Pat Cooper, regional park administrator; Ray Bivens, division director; Scott Borino, park manager; and Kendall Summers, stewardship manager, assessed a total of 47 castles and sculptures to determine which castle would reign supreme.
Businesses that sponsored the event included: Quiet Storm, The Country Store, McCabe’s Gourmet Market, Made by Hand, Bethany Surf Shop, Bella Luna, Baja Beach House Grille, Sea Shell City, Seaside Country Store, Viking Golf, Fisher’s Popcorn Fenwick, Pottery Place, Tidepool Toys & Games, Thunder Lagoon Water Park, Blue Room Fine Arts Gallery, Fish Tails, Atlantic Shoales, Vanderwende’s, Rusty Rudder, Lighthouse, Que Pasa, Dolle’s, Christmas Spirit, Snyder’s Candy, Gidget’s Gadgets, Rehoboth Toy & Kite Co., Rehoboth Beach and Variety, Bite to Go, Sea Shell Shop, Nicola Pizza, Summer House Saloon, Sea Finds, Pet Wants, Yarn & Bone Pet Supply, Art League, The Sunglass Company, T-Shirt World, Old Inlet Bait & Tackle, Rita’s Waterice, Capriotti’s and any business that hung a flyer for the competition in their window.