The results are in! Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival concludes today, November 17, 2015 on Siesta Key, our own #1 beach!
The Comfort Suite Sarasota is proud to be a sponsor of this unique beach festival!
Our team was thrilled to support this year’s Siesta Key Crystal Classic which concludes today on Siesta Key Public Beach. The event is open to the public, 10 am – 5 pm today, Tuesday, November 17, 2015, but this is your final opportunity to view this ephemeral works of art!
Here’s the full event update from our friends at Mote Marine Laboratory:
November 15, 2015: International sand sculpting champions were declared today during the sixth annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival, which is drawing thousands to Siesta Public Beach and raising awareness for endangered sea turtles. (See the sculptures Monday and Tuesday. Details at: www.siestakeycrystalclassic.com)
Awards were presented this afternoon, Nov. 15, to winning teams of two master sand sculptors who each competed for a total prize pot of $15,000.
The Crystal Classic drew 12 teams from nations around the world, including Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Russia, along with multiple U.S. states.
Enguerrand David from Brussels, Belgium, and Leonardo Ugolini from Forli, Italy, won first prize ($5,000) for “Tender Loving Care,” which is carved to show a blanket-like cloth gently surrounding an elaborate cathedral-style building on one side and trees on the other.
“There are many ways you can look at this sculpture – one way to see it is that we need to take care of both our environment and our heritage; this can also mean humanity taking care of itself,” said David.
Other prizes and winners were:
Second place ($4,000): “Free Minded” by Melineige Beauregard, who resides near Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Joris Kivits, who resides in the Netherlands.
Third place ($3,000): “Godzilla” (aka: “When I grow up, I want to be… rarrr!”) by Abram Waterman of Prince Edward Island, Canada, and Morgan Rudluff of Santa Cruz, Calif.
Sculptors’ choice: ($1,000): “Tender Loving Care” by Enguerrand David and Leonardo Ugolini.
People’s choice: ($2,000): Winners will be announced Nov. 18 after the final day of visitor voting. Results will be posted at: www.facebook.com/SiestaKeyCrystalClassic.
“The sand sculptors truly wowed us this year with their creativity and detailed craftsmanship, and the wonderful turnout has shown us that people love this event and love Siesta Beach,” said Maria Bankemper, Event Chair. “Siesta Beach was recently declared No. 1 beach in the U.S. by TripAdvisor, and this festival adds to the many qualities that make this beach such a jewel. We thank the sculptors, the sponsors and our event partners at Mote Marine Lab from the bottom of our hearts.”
The production of this year’s festival is a partnership between the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and Mote Marine Laboratory. Through this partnership, Mote aims to support the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and generate awareness of Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program, which coordinates conservation of endangered sea turtles along 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches, including Siesta Key. The public can donate anytime to support Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program by visiting www.mote.org/support.
“This festival has truly brought out the best in our community – amazing sand artworks, a fantastic partnership between the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and Mote Marine Laboratory, and of course, a special opportunity for Mote to educate thousands of people about the endangered sea turtles that nest right here on Siesta Key,” said Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President & CEO of Mote. “As dedicated scientists with close ties to this community, Mote researchers understand how much it matters for people and sea turtles to share this beloved stretch of beach, honoring both public enjoyment and marine conservation.”
The Crystal Classic came about as a result of discussions between master sand sculptor and Siesta Key resident Brian Wigelsworth and representatives of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, Mote Marine Laboratory and the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau, now Visit Sarasota County.
For more information about the event, click here or call the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce at 941-349-3800.
If you’re ready to view this special form of art for yourself, we recommend securing your hotel room now for next year! This unique beach festival is popular with both locals and tourists.