Big crowds turned out for the 53rd Annual Sandcastle Contest at Big Corona state beach. With 80 degree temperatures and the Indian summer sun, conditions were perfect for the wet and sandy competition.

This year’s theme was “It’s a Beach Party!” and attracted participants young and old. Teams registered as groups into various categories including families, civic groups and “masters” such as architectural firms. When the contest began at 11:00 a.m., out came the buckets, trashcan, shovels and spades, and everyone got to work. As the emcee said, “It’s not easy carrying buckets of water up the sand!”

The elaborate finished pieces included sea turtles, mermaids and characters from the movie, “Frozen”. Throngs of people strolled on the beach, snapping pictures and enjoying music and food from sponsor Fresh Brothers.

The artists had to stop building at 2:30 p.m. for judging to begin. Prizes were awarded for Best Sculpture, Humor and Creativity, to name a few. Winners received certificates and cute, miniature sandcastle trophies.

The Sandcastle Contest was truly a day of sun and fun! It was presented by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce – the same crew who delivers our magnificent Christmas boat parade year after year. The event was generously sponsored by Doggie Walk Bags,, Signature Resources Capital Management, Mayor Rush Hill, Speedpro Imaging, Balboa Yacht Club, Fresh Brothers, Entitlement Advisors LLC, Stream Realty and Green Dental.