Siesta Key Crystal Classic dates announced

 

Photo by studio F productions

The 2017 Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival will be held Nov. 10-13, organizers have announced.

  This will be the eighth installment of the event on Siesta Public Beach, which will feature 24 “of the premier master sand sculptors from all over the world,” competing for first place on the No. 1 beach, a news release points out. Several artists from past years will be present again, including last year’s first-place winners, Abe Waterman and Walter MacDonald, as well as Kirk Rademaker and Matt Long, the release notes.

  The Siesta Key Crystal Classic has hosted more than 200,000 attendees, the release adds. In only 24 sculpting hours — spanning the four-day event — the artists create sand masterpieces — some more than 10 feet tall — “and transform the always beautiful Siesta Beach into an outdoor art gallery,” the release says.

   This year, the event hours will be extended to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 2017 Chair Maria Bankemper announced during the May 17 Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce general meeting. The reason: “to light up the sculptures with colored light and make [them] a spectacular centerpiece.” She pointed out that the sand “is very reflective.”

   Live music will be presented by Reverend Barry & Funktastic Soul on Friday night and by One Night Rodeo on Saturday night, the release says. “Drinks will be flowing at the party tent,” it notes.

   The festival is more than just a matter of sand, the release explains. It also features live music along with a large village of vendors with all sorts of items to sell, including food and drinks. Among the other activities are the “Quick Sand” competitions — during which the artists demonstrate just how fast they can transform a small amount of sand into a sculpture — sand sculpting lessons, an amateur competition and The Learning Curve, an educational and fun area for children.

  For more information and to purchase advance tickets and parking passes, visit the website: www.siestakeycrystalclassic.com.