Florida sand sculpting competition boasts incredible masterpieces, hosts 40,000 attendees

Professional sand sculptors from around the world gathered in Sarasota to showcase their artistic talents by using pristine white sand as their medium over the weekend.

The Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition hosts 40,000 people and generates $9,000,000 in economic impact for the local community all while giving master sand sculptors the chance to create sand masterpieces — transforming Siesta Key from a beach to an outdoor gallery. 

The most recent competition took place from Nov 11-14 where attendees gazed at the sculptures under colored lights after sunset and voted for their favorite sculpture. 

There were three tiers of winners in this year's competition — Solo, Doubles, and People's Choice awards. 

Here's who took home the trophies in the solo category: 

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Credit: Siesta Key Crystal Classic and Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce

Here are the winners for the doubles category this year: 

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Credit: Siesta Key Crystal Classic and Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce

Aside from witnessing the glorious sand sculptures, attendees were able to put their artist shoes on by participating in attractions such as the learning curve, which provided sand sculpting lessons and demonstrations throughout the day. Live bands filled the air with soulful sounds and guests had access to food, drinks, and a full bar at the Barefoot Beach Party Tent. 

The sculptors had 24 hours to create their masterpieces over a four-day period. 

The competition started in 2010 as a result of discussions between master sand sculptor and Siesta Key resident Brian Wigelsworth and representatives of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, Mote Marine Laboratory, and the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau.