The Harrison Hot Springs Sand Sculptures


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Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia, Canada is world-renowned for its 'World Championship Sand Sculpting Competition', held annually for the last 19 years. Three years ago, they introduced a second competition, 'The Tournament of Champions', where only winners of the past World Championships can compete.

While sand sculpting competitions are now commonplace, the ones at Harrison Hot Springs are amongst the best in the World, partly because of the stringent entry requirements and partly because of the natural environment. Only people with past sand sculpting experience are allowed to enter even the World Championship competitions, held in September every year. This ensures that the entries are all truly world class.

Also, the sand in this region is silt-like and therefore 'stickier' than normal grainy sand, allowing for bigger and grander sculptures - in fact, a number of the sculptures in the Guinness Book of Records were created at Harrison Hot Springs.

Lastly, unlike other beaches, this area is not prone high and low tides and hence the sculptures do not get washed away. The only danger to the sculptures is loss of moisture from the hot dry winds, which could cause them to crumble. In order to protect them, once completed, they are all sprayed with a product called 'WeatherTect II", which seals the moisture in and helps preserve them for a long period of time - in this case almost five months for the recently completed 'Tournament of Champions'.

Eighteen past winners and their partners participated in this three-day event, held from May 7th-May 11. The winners, judged by fans that came to see the exhibits from May 8th to June 30th, were made public on July 1st.

The gold medal and first prize of $3,000(CAD), was awarded to Dr. Michael Welling of Washington and John Gowdy from Venice, Italy for their sculptor entitled "The Boy's Turtle Tank"

The silver medal and $2,500 (CAD) prize went to Brad Gall of Texas and Damon Farmer of Kentucky, for their sculpture entitled 'Princess Rescue - a non-violent way to rescue a princess'.

The bronze medal and third prize of $2,000 (CAD), went to Meredith Corson and Dan Doubleday from Florida.

All the sculptures from the 'Tournament of Champions' will be on display for visitors until at least October 19th, weather permitting. For more information and pictures check out The Video below shows some of the exhibits from last year's event - It's amazing what people are able to create from mere sand and water isn't it?

Sources:, timeair magazine

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