Robert Crown Memorial State Beach, Otis and Westline Drive.
It's fun to play in the sand, and that's what Alameda's Sand Castle and
Sand Sculpture Contest is all about. An Alameda tradition for 43 years
with only the promise of ribbons and trophies as prizes, the free
annual event at Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach can attract some
serious artists, but it's also pure fun for families and kids. The
modern-day Michelangelos sculpt with shovels, hoes, and spatulas. For
their basic forms, they can use flowerpots, milk cartons, and buckets.
Found natural materials on the beach add embellishments. Out of sand
and water the craftsmen create amazingly detailed replicas of local
landmarks, such as the Posey Tube, or models of world wonders like the
ancient pyramids or Mayan temples. Sea creatures, monsters, and
wildlife wend their ways into their subject matter. A kelp-haired
mermaid wearing seaweed scales may lie next to a life-size Buddha. Or
an open-mouthed hippo may rest adjacent to an enormous serpent
slithering through sea grasses. Sand castles run from rudimentary
pail-shaped and round-mounded things by the kids and families to the
pros' architectural marvels with turrets, moats, and drawbridges. All
the masterpieces are constructed at the water's edge at low tide, so
after the judging, the sea sweeps the creations away forever.