Sculpting a Coney tradition.
Coney Island beach played host to the 27th Annual Sand Sculpting Contest on Saturday, August 19.
Held on a beautiful summer day, the competitive event featured dozens of sculptures created by people of all ages and skill sets who battled for top money prizes.
The contest, presented by Neptune/Sixth in partnership with Brooklyn Community Services (BCS), Astella Development Corp. and the Alliance for Coney Island, included several categories, including family group, individual adult and adult group. First prize received $500, second place took home $250 and third place won $100.
Attendees, and they were many, have a say as they get to vote for the People’s Choice Award, where the winner also takes home $500.
“Coney Island is the place to be, and the annual sand sculpting contest is one of the many reasons why,” said city Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. “Getting to be a judge is one of the highlights of my summer. Every year I am astounded by the talent on display and 2017 was no exception. I love that this contest engages participants of all levels and all ages, and encourages creativity and a little healthy competition.”
Along with Silver, Marc Evan, an acclaimed Brooklyn based artist and famous professional pumpkin carver, served as judges, taking creativity and execution when deciding the victors.
This year, Gary Feliciano was the first place winner in the individual adult category for his “The Man and the Woman” sculpture. Feliciano also won the People’s Choice Award.
Bay Ridge was represented as John and Amanda Martinez won top honors for in the adult group category for their work “Castle of Doom.”
The first place award for family group was presented to Jedijah Johnson and family.
The day was a success according to organizers.
“The Annual Sand Sculpting Competition is a cornerstone for Coney Island as it celebrates everything we love in summer: time on the beach, family fun and creativity, “ said Alexandra Silversmith, executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island. “It is a unique experience to see visitors and New Yorkers enjoy themselves on our beach and celebrate the artistry of participants.”
“People come from all over the country to Coney Island to create or view these incredible sand sculptures. Brooklyn Community Services has many programs in the Coney Island community and we are proud to be an organizer of this important Coney Island event, “said Jodi Querbach, deputy chief operating officer, programs at BCS.