2017-04-20 / Opinion

See, slide, bounce, enjoy

Mary Henkel Judson

We’ve got a big weekend ahead of us with SandFest getting started on Thursday with master sculptors setting up their “canvasses” in preparation for their creations that they’ll start on Friday when the festival officially gets under way.

The quality of SandFest goes up a notch every year in terms of master sculptors, organization, entertainment – the whole gamut. It just keeps getting better and better. And it is a huge benefit for several nonprofit organizations in Port Aransas, so better is bigger, and bigger is better (say that three times real fast).

With that the crowds swell, and with that comes traffic. Lots of it.

So let’s just chill.

Know that town is going to be packed.

If that means you stock up in advance and hunker down, so be it.

If that means that you find an alternate route or leave a little earlier to get to work, the grocery store, hardware store, your favorite restaurant or boutique, you can do that.

Lots of projects have come across my desk in the 36 years since we bought the South Jetty. SandFest stood out, among others (one of which eventually became Keep Port Aransas Beautiful). I knew even at the onset that SandFest had the underpinnings of success. The early organizers had the outline of what clearly would be a winner. It was well conceived, well thought-out, though it has not been without its pitfalls, as any such undertaking experiences. One of the first events was nearly washed away by high tides, which from then on meant the tide tables were consulted before setting the date of the next year’s event. But it was a winner from the beginning.

Even in the early days, the sculptures were awe-inspiring, and that continues. That such incredible – and fleeting – art can be created from the sands of our beach is almost unimaginable, yet it happens year after year. This year makes it 21 years of creating masterpieces from sand, moisture and talent -- lots of it.

Keeping people entertained while watching these creations in progress has grown in scope, from music, vendors, food and beverages to a big slide and a bungee trampoline.

Just walking the beach people-watching, stopping in at vendor booths, getting a bite to eat or a cool beverage, seeing old friends and making new ones is part of the experience of SandFest. And it’s all good.

Part of every dime you spend, from the $10 admission for the three-day event, to the funnel cake, sparkly earrings, cute top, cool wood carving or hot dog, goes to one of several Port Aransas nonprofit organizations. Volunteers for those groups – and dozens of others -- are on hand helping put on this phenomenal undertaking, earning the “cut” they get.

Bottom line: SandFest is deserving of our support. It feeds the cash registers of our businesses and supports the amenities and community services our nonprofit groups provide.

Go out and enjoy it.

Mary Henkel Judson is editor and co-publisher of the South Jetty. Contact her at editor@portasouthjetty.com, (361) 749-5131 or P.O. Box 1117, Port Aransas, TX 78373.

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