Sand plus water equals fun at Peachfest

Call goes out for builders to enter next week's sandcastle contest

Rick Mielke

Rick Mielke

Sand and water are the two main ingredients teams will have plenty of for the 30th annual sandcastle competition which runs in conjunction with the Penticton Peach Festival.

Whether you are an intricate architect or stick-to-the-basics builder, organizers are inviting you to Skaha Beach on Aug. 8 to show off your skills.

“It is just great fun, you get in there and dig away,” said organizer Matt Kenyon. “People sometimes get worried about what they are going to build thinking it is some big contest, but it is really not. It is more about just getting out there and having a good time with a group of friends, family or your co-workers. Some people that don’t think they are a sculptor at all turn out to be actually pretty good at it once they get in there and start shaping and doing it.”

Proceeds from the event will go to a variety of local and international projects. The winning teams in each category receive prize money (family/friends $50, youth $200, kids $100 and corporate challenge $500) that is donated to their charity of choice. The competition gets underway at 5:30 p.m. with kids’ teams (12 and under) allocated one hour, while all other categories are allowed two hours to complete their sandcastle before judging begins. A people’s choice award will also be handed out for bragging rights.

“The rest of the proceeds will go the Penticton Skaha Community Projects Society and they will disperse the funds throughout the community through bursaries or donations,” said Kenyon.

A corporate team can enter for $50 and have a maximum of eight adults and an unlimited number of kids under 12 on their team. Family teams  can consist of a maximum of six adults with an unlimited number of kids under 12 and their entry fee is $25. A youth team can be entered for $20 with a maximum of eight team members between the ages of 13 and 16. A kids’ team entry fee is $10 and can have unlimited number of participants that are 12 and under. The kids category will get a 10 foot by 10 foot square plot. If parents want to direct children’s activities it is advised they should enter the family team category. All materials included in the final sculpture must be environmentally friendly and forms and plastic materials used for making the sculpture must be removed prior to final judging. Sculptures will be judged on best use of plot (five points), artistic content (20 points), intricacy (20 points) and discretionary (five points).

“There is some strategy to building,” said Kenyon. “You might want to get a plot close to the water and the other thing is to make sure you have a full team because if you can get everyone to dig for the first half hour or 20 minutes with a lot of people, you can get a good mound of sand going and spend the rest of the time carving.”

Live music from Kyle Anderson and The World’s Largest Trio will be playing during the sandcastle building hours. To register for the RONA Sandcastle Competition visit or pick up a form at RONA, Greyback Construction or Dragon’s Den. Registration will also take place at the Skaha Beach Sun Dial before the competition gets underway on Aug. 8 at 4 p.m.