Master sand sculptors to transform Hampton Beach into tons of art

June 13. 2018 2:05PM
Artist Greg Grady Jr. blasted into the 2013 Master Sand Sculpting Classic on Hampton Beach with a piece titled “To the Moon.” 

HAMPTON BEACH — Sand sculptors will have just 24 hours over the course of three days to finish 10-ton works of art.

The 18th annual Master Sand Sculpting Classic returns to Hampton Beach today through Saturday. Awards will be announced at 8 p.m. Saturday on the Seashell Stage. Fireworks will follow at 9:30 p.m.

The sculptures will remain on display through Wednesday, June 27, and will be lit for night viewing.

The theme of the invitational, which has attracted sculptors from as far away as India and the Netherlands for past competitions, will be “Out of This World.”

Sculptors began arriving earlier this week to do prep work as well as collaborate on the 100-ton sponsor site. The sponsors, along with the Hampton Beach Village District in cooperation with the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce and the New Hampshire Division of Parks, fund the yearly event.

Sculptors will be competing for $15,000 in prize money, plus there’s the bragging rights for the coveted People’s Choice Award. Voting on that honor will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Among this year’s crop of sand artists are: Marc Lepire of Quebec, Canada; Carl Jara from Lyndhurst, Ohio; and five-time world champion, five-time North American Champion and last year’s winner, Karen Fralich, of Toronto, Canada.

Jara has created thought-provoking, out-of-the box creations, while Fralich tends to focus on personal inspiration and capturing emotion. Lepire returns to Hampton after the death at the start of the year of his father, Miche Lepire, who had been a beloved part of Hampton Beach’s competition since its inception.

Other sculptors competing this year are Justin Gordon of Groveland, Mass.; Abe Waterman of Prince Edward Island, Canada; last year’s winner, Mélineige Beauregard of Montreal, Canada; Dan Belcher of Missouri; 10-time National Snow Sculpting Champion David Andrews of Wisconsin; and, new this year, Kirk Radimaker of California and Delayne Corbett of Vancouver, Canada.

Returning to teach sand sculpting to kids of all ages is Carissa Porcaro of Portland, Maine, and Darlene Duggan of Essex, Mass. Free lessons will be held on site on Friday and Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. (Sign up at the nearby Chamber of Commerce office building on the day of the lesson.) For more information, visit


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