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Best Art Contest 

Alameda's Sand Castle and Sand Sculpture Contest

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.

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