Events & Festivals - Sarasota County Blog

Siesta Key Crystal Classic 2016 Presents Sand-Sculpted Masterpieces

The Siesta Key Crystal Classic is a amazing event that brings sand sculptures from all over the world to create stunning art installations on the shores of Siesta Key.

Prepare to be 'wowed' by the masterpieces on Siesta Key Beach as the world's most talented master sand sculptors descend on Sarasota for the 7th annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic, taking place Nov. 11-15.

The Siesta Key Crystal Classic features a weekend of sand sculpting demonstrations, lessons, live music and entertainment, and friendly (though sandy) competition.

Master Competition

Recently named America's #1 beach, Siesta Key is known for its powder-white, 99% quartz sand—which gives sculptures the appearance of having been carved in marble. This year, 24 master sand artists will compete for a $15,000 prize for the best sculpture.

Master competitors' sand sculptures will be on display to the public in the Sand Sculpture Gallery—though visitors arriving early on Friday will have the most intimate first peek at master sculptors' works in progress. Works will be demolished on Wednesday, Nov. 16.

Master sculptors will also participate in 10-minute speed-sculpting  'Quick Sculpt' competitions on Saturday and Sunday. These live competitions are judged by audience applause, and will take place at 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. on both days.

Amateur Competition

No need to be a pro to participate in this year's Siesta Key Crystal Classic. The popular amateur competitions are broken up into six categories, making the competition friendly for all ages. Sculptures will be judged by two master sculptors immediately after the competition. The categories are as follows:

Turtle Bale – (family or friends) – Up to four members per team

Hatchlings – One or two children under 10 years of age

Loggerheads – one or two children 11- 17 years of age

Leatherbacks – one or two adults 18 years of age and older

To sign up for the Siesta Key Crystal Classic Amateur Competition and learn more about competition rules, visit the Siesta Key Crystal Classic website.

New Event: The Learning Curve

The 7th annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic features a new event: a hands-on educational session on the sand called 'The Learning Curve', geared toward elementary and middle school students. The Learning Curve will take place twice a day on Saturday, Nov. 12 and Sunday, Nov. 13.

"Not only will attendees be able to learn about sand sculpting during small group lessons, but they will be educated on everything about not only Siesta Key sand, but

sand from other beaches around the world," says Crystal Classic Festival Chair, Maria Bankemper.

How to Arrive Prepared

The Siesta Key Crystal Classic draws up to 40,000 attendees annually, so early ticket purchase and reserved parking is a wise idea. Food vendors will be available at the event with food and beverages for purchase.

Purchase tickets online now and reserve your parking spot. Want to forego the traffic headache? Take route 10 or 11 to Siesta with the Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT).

See you on the sand!

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