The third annual Fog Fest Sand Castle and Sand Sculpture Contest got under way at 11am on Saturday morning.
The contest takes place in an empty lot on Santa Rosa Ave. near the Corner of Palmetto. Contestants worked busily throughout most of the day, with festival-goers stopping to watch and ask questions.
“Excuse me, is that a dragon?” asked one little girl. “It is a dragon, very good,” said Tom Byrne, who headed this year’s defending champions, the Skyline College team.
Byrne, who worked with co-sculptor Mehran Dhaffari to carefully construct a peaceful, sleeping dragon, has represented Skyline College all of the three years that the contest has been in existence. During the first contest, the group agonized over what to sculpt and ended up creating an octopus. Last year, Byrne waited until the day of the contest to decide on a design, and his Chesire Cat sculpture won the prize.
This year he decided to wing it again, and his rough sketch of the sleeping dragon design could be seen propped on a car windshield nearby.
Mother and son team Judy Hildreth and Kenny Camacho were a last minute entry, sponsored by where Hildreth is president of the PTA Executive Board. Many Sunset Ridge students dropped by during the day to add their special touches to the team’s sculpture.
Hildreth and her son had a great time creating their sculpture and are looking forward to next year, when they hope to involve many more students from the school.
Team DB2 consists of David and Dylan Bockholt, a father and son team who received assistance and advice from Bockholt’s daughter Audrey and wife, Carrie.
Bockholt has been making sand castles for more than 20 years and has created sculptures on the beaches of Aruba and Mexico.
“How come it doesn’t fall down?” another little girl asked him. “That’s because the sand is so hard-packed from all of the water in it,” explained Bockholt, pointing to a bucket of water and sand that he used throughout the day. As added insurance, Bockholt’s daughter Audrey misted the sandcastle with hairspray.
“We’re nearly through our third bottle!” Carrie Bockholt exclaimed at the end of the day.
Team Team DB2 is sponsored by Bayshore Ambulance, where David Bockholt is VP of Operations.
Fog Fest Board Member and Publicity Chair Sam Casillas is the Sand Castle and Sand Sculpture Contest Coordinator. He oversaw the day’s sculpting and explained that prior to the annual contest, the Fog Fest used to hire a professional sand sculpture artist to create a unique piece of art. Though beautiful, the sculpture didn’t involve festival-goers the way the contest does.
Judging for the contest is a 50/50 split between festival-goers, who make a suggested $1 donation to cast their ballots, and a team of three Pacifica officials: Mayor Mary Ann Nihart, Fog Fest Board President Peter Loeb and Kathleen Salvia, Executive Director of the Sanchez Art Center.
“The Sand Castle Contest involves festival-goers in a fun and interactive way by giving them the opportunity to watch the sculptures being created throughout the day,” said Casillas. “And it also creates an opportunity for the festival to raise money.”
All money raised during the festival goes toward covering its operating expenses. Beyond that, funds are distributed to non-profit organizations within the Pacifica community, all of which participate in the Fog Fest in various ways.
The Sand Castle Contest winner will be announced at Center Stage on Sunday at 12pm. Be sure to cast your vote in plenty of time!