A sure sign that the lazy days of summer are numbered, Beachfest wrapped up its five week exhibition this weekend. The Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition welcomed just over 90,000 visitors through the gate this year, second only to 99,000 people in 2010.
“It was a terrific five-week span with amazing sculptures and fun events intermingled throughout,” said Beach Festival Society president Cheryl Dill.
From those visitors 81,131 votes were cast for favourite sculpture giving the People’s Choice Award to the Orbital Sanders from Seattle for their sculpture “Backyard Battle” and to individual competitor Brett Stocker from Los Cabos, Mexico for his “Medieval Mansion.”
Dill said the sand art stood strong for the extended five week exhibition, their longest ever, and it was bitter-sweet Monday when they were taken down.
The winning teams were the Sand Boxers from Victoria in first, The Orbital Sanders (Seattle) and Parksville’s own Cutting Edge took third.
As official qualifier for the World Championships of Sand Sculpting in Florida, this year’s winners receive airfare, accommodation and a stipend to compete in November, 2013.
Dill points out that along with the fun, family event, the mandate of the society includes helping the community grow.
A quarter of the gate proceeds go to community projects and philanthropic groups and they also contribute to the maintenance and development of Community Park.
They have donated over $250,000 to non-profit groups in the last 13 years and hope to contribute another $40,000 to the 15 groups that helped run the exhibition this year.