BRADENTON BEACH -- Calling all sculptors: Keep Manatee Beautiful wants you for this year's America Recycles Day at SandBlast.
Backed by the nonprofit organization dedicated to Manatee County's beautification and environmental improvement, the sand-sculpting competition takes place Nov. 8 at Coquina Public Beach, 1402 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach.
SandBlast, which has been an annual event since 2000, is being held on the same day as Symphony on the Sand, a musical and gourmet celebration featuring the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Coquina Gulfside Park, 2650 Gulf Drive S.
The sand sculpture themes are free-form, wildlife and music.
"We wanted to stick to who we are and we are about improving the quality of life and appearance of Manatee County so our theme of wildlife stayed -- so did free-form for those that want to do anything they want to do and we tie in the arts and music
since we're partnering with Symphony on the Sand," said Ingrid McClellan, executive director of Keep Manatee Beautiful. "The teams have expressed a desire for free-form because many of them are artistic and they want to have creative freedom."
McClellan said 15 teams have registered at last count, including many Manatee students ranging from elementary school to college.
In addition to the competition, spectators can also view an 80-ton exhibit sculpture created by Team Sandtastic. To coincide with America Recycles Day, literature promoting recycling will be made available for the public.
There also will be free sand-sculpting clinics where attendees can learn tricks of the trade from master sculptors Team Sandtastic at sunset Nov. 6-7.
McClellan said there's an element of surprise in the sand-sculpting event because teams don't reveal what they're working on their 15-by-15 foot plots.
"Sometimes they change their actual sculpture idea while they're sculpting because it didn't quite work or they need to make changes in the design for it (the sculpture) to stay in place," she said.
Registration deadline is Friday. The SandBlast entry fee is $300 for up to 15 members per team. Competitors must bring spades, shovels, buckets and trowels to create their structures, according to a release.
Check-in for the contest begins at 8 a.m. Nov. 8 and sculpting will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will be followed by an hour of judging and awards at 2 p.m.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.