Sponsors, volunteers still needed
It will be held in Port Aransas April 20-22.
The 16th annual Texas SandFest, the largest master sand-sculpting contest in the U.S., will feature 25 worldclass master sculptors in solo and duo competitions, as well as amateur competitions for “guppies” (up to age 7), youth (ages 8 to 12), teens (ages 13- 17) and adults 18 and older.
Sponsors to fund travel, lodging and meals for master sculptors are still needed, according to Tanya Fain, marketing director for the festival. To sponsor, contact Fain at (512) 762-5401.
Volunteers also are needed, and anyone who would like to is asked to call Betty Crawford at 749-6674.
Specifically, volunteers are needed for the 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the 1 to 6 p.m. shifts each day of the festival. Volunteers will help with traffic control, managing the Handicap Tent, helping in the photo op area and directing volunteers.
The festivities will take place on the beach between Sandcastle Drive and Beach Access Road 1A, about one mile south of Horace Caldwell Pier, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Transportation arrangements have been revised from what was reported last week.
RTA (Regional Transportation Authority) buses will provide transportation to and from SandFest from three designated free parking areas on Saturday and Sunday. A 25-cent per person fee will be charged for the ride.
Buses, identifiable by the SandFest signs and logos in the windows, will run from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday of the festival. Spectators may park for free at Roberts Point Park near the ferry landing, at Sharkey’s Beach Club, 2600 State Hwy. 361, or along Piper Boulevard and Island Moorings Parkway, then walk to the office at Mustang Beach Airport to wait for the bus.
The buses will take passengers to the beach at Sandcastle Drive. Bus capacity is 30 to 35 people, with some standing.
The city trolley is another transportation option, and also costs just 25 cents. A complete trolley schedule is available at city offices or in the South Jetty Spring Visitors’ Guide, on newsstands and at www.portasouthjetty.com.
Parking on the beach is limited to designated areas around the site. All beach traffic between Sandcastle Drive and Beach Access Road 1A will be southbound only.
The best roads to enter the beach for parking are Lantana Drive, Avenue G or Beach Street, then drive south. General parking will be allowed north of Sandcastle Drive or south of Access Road 1A.
Handicapped parking will be at the end of Sandcastle Drive where a wood-floor tent will accommodate wheelchairs. Seating will be available in the tent for visitors to await one of two golf carts with drivers that will be provided to take one round trip of the festival grounds at no charge. No other golf carts will be allowed on the grounds.
Admission to the festival is free, but those who want a close-up view of the masters’ sculptures will be charged $2 for a ticket to enter the masters’ site one time. The masters’ sculptures will be fenced off, but still visible from a short distance.
Any entries, excluding the masters’ divisions, will be accepted until 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 21. Entry forms can be found at www.texasSand- Fest.com on the link for each individual contest. Entry fees are listed on the Web forms.
An awards ceremony for winners in all divisions will be held in the Entertainment Tent Sunday at 3 p.m.
SandFest is a family event with vendors selling food and merchandise, and free live music. A beer and wine garden, sponsored by L&F Distributors, will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
SandFest souvenir shops, vendor and food booths and Lesson Mountain, where anyone can take free sand-sculpting lessons, will be open all three days of the festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All pets must be on leashes while anywhere on the beach, and no glass containers are allowed.
Proceeds from SandFest will benefit groups that have agreed to provide volunteers to help. Those groups are the Port Aransas Community Theatre, the Port Aransas Art Center and the Helping Hands Food Pantry.
SandFest is one of five U.S. qualifying contests for The World Championship Sand Sculpting competition in Fort Meyers Beach, Fla. in November.