Souped-up sandcastles

Amateur architects and engineers in the Okanagan are being called upon for the 2015 Sandcastle building contest

Amateur architects and engineers in the Okanagan are being called upon for the 2015 Sandcastle building contest.

“If you build a volcano out of mashed potatoes then you can enter the contest,” event co-ordinator Jeanette Beaven said.

The competition will be held as part of the Penticton Peach Festival for the 32nd year. Building blocks will come from the Skaha Beach, where teams will have one to two hours to construct their most dynamic sand structure.

“The secret is patience, having some carpenter tools, good use of sticks and stones,” said Beaven, adding that competitors have to bring their own tools.

To ensure the castles will be structurally sound, Beaven said the beach will get soaked for hours before the competition begin, with help from the Penticton Fire Dept.

“It’s so fun – when else do you get to go out and sit in huge piles of sand and make sand castles?”

The criteria bases merit on the effective use of space; artistic content; intricacy, and some of the score will be subjective as the judges have a discretionary category.

Teams will be categorized by age – there will be teams ages 12 and under ($10 entry), youth ages 13 to 16 ($20 entry), as well as family ($25 entry) and corporate teams ($50 entry). For the top finishers in each category, the cash prizes payout tenfold, and the corporate winners will see their prize donated to a charity of their choosing.

Competition is stiff and the event sees monuments castles built each year.

“Those who are intimidated should remember this is meant to be a fun way for friends and family to spend an afternoon and that every great artist started out doing stick figures,” said Richard Covell, who’s been involved in the event for the past 25 years.

To register, visit www.peachfest.com and click ‘Sandcastle Competition’ on the entertainment schedule.