HANALEI — Even if you’re not the next Michelangelo, amateurs and experts alike are invited to participate in Saturday’s Kaua‘i Sand Castle and Art contest in Hanalei, said the event’s organizer, Julian Miller.
From mermaids and turtles to castles and locomotives, people of all ages — including those who still wish to express their inner child — are encouraged to sculpt a sand masterpiece of their choice for a chance to win from an assortment of prizes, he said.
Beginners will even have the opportunity to take a class with Jeff Peterson, an experienced sand sculptor, who will also be competing Saturday.
“It’s good to bring the community together to share the beach and aloha spirit,” said Peterson, who has crafted everything from buildings to dragons in the sand for the past three years.
“Even if they’ve never done it before, come out and learn some tricks,” he said.
The community event is also “open to people enjoying it in whatever fashion they wish,” Miller said.
“If they are there and want to play an ‘ukulele, that’s fine. If someone wants to come with a super-soaker, that would be nice too.
“We want to make everyone happy,” he said. There are no boundaries.
On Kaua‘i, “we make our entertainment,” said Miller, who has “often walked many beaches and wondered why there aren’t more” people building castles in the sand.
Other places across the world regularly have “very serious” sand-art contests and “don’t have anywhere near as nice beaches,” he said.
“I have seen some really beautiful, amazing sculptures,” said Miller, who wanted to give his time and resources to the island by cultivating this weekend’s event.
“Everybody does amazing things in the community here and it’s my turn to add a little something back.”
Not only has Miller already been receiving positive feedback about the event, he said he encountered “tremendous support” from businesses across the island that were more than willing to donate the more than 100 prizes to be awarded Saturday, Miller said.
“It is very important to us to contribute back to the community in which we live and work,” said St. Regis Princeville Resort Director of Public Relations Stephanie Kaluahine Reid.
The North Shore resort is providing two Sunday brunch certificates for two at the Makana Terrace Restaurant as prizes for the contest.
Resort guests are already being enlightened about the Saturday event, as it is “another way visitors can experience our island culture and the people that make Kaua‘i special,” she said.
The contest will help to “bring families, friends and visitors together in a positive and fun way,” she said.
And what better way for everyone to artistically appreciate nature without leaving behind any footprint? Miller asked. After it rains, “no one will even know we were there.”
“I love things that are temporary,” said Carol Yotsuda, executive director of the Garden Island Arts Council, who will accompany ceramic artist David Kuraoka in judging Saturday’s pieces.
“There is no record of it except in people’s memory, and to me, that’s my favorite kind of art work,” said Yotsuda. “It leaves a lasting memory in people’s minds.”
Building sand sculptures is something people have “always wanted to do their whole life,” Miller said. This is their chance.
Participants should bring their own tools, sunblock, water and lunch. Registration begins at 11 a.m., followed by a class at 11:30 a.m. Final judging will occur at 3:30 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony at 4 p.m.
The event is free of charge.
Visit juliankauai.wordpress.com for more information.
• Coco Zickos, business and environmental writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 251) or firstname.lastname@example.org.