The Texas Sandfest, the largest beach and sand sculpture competition, is back in Port Aransas. The competition for sculptors started Thursday and they finish Sunday.
Amanda Bolduc is from Estero, Florida and said she just moved up to the master level where she can not only win prizes but she gets more sand to play in.
Bolduc said she plans to build a woman coming out of thorns, an idea she said her daughter came up with.
“After COVID, she really struggled with anxiety and depression," Bolduc said. "So the thorns symbolize all of that. And her finally emerging from all of that dark place and coming into the light and actually feeling happiness again."
Another sculptor Thomas Koet is visiting from Satellite Beach, Florida. He’s making a giant sculpture giving thanks to the armed forces of America.
Koet said there's sculptors from all over the world competing.
“Everyone pushes their sand to the highest limit. Sometimes their sculptor will fall, sometimes their sculptor will stand and look incredible," Koet said.
The Vice President for Texas Sandfest Rene Cano said this is the largest amount of sculptors in the 26 years of Sandfest, with 24 sculptors from around the world and 100 food truck vendors at the event.
Cano said last year they donated $444,000 into the community, but their main priority is scholarships for high school students
“Every senior gets a high school scholarship, and then we donate to the food bank, theater and other non profits. We help some human trafficking organizations out of Corpus Christi," Cano said.
Bolduc said she doesn't have an art degree or took art classes. When she was in her 30’s she started playing in the sand and found her hidden talent by bringing emotion out of people through her art work.
“I can make them happy, I can make them sad. All these things you can do with just these grains of sand is amazing," Bolduc said.
The event started Friday, April 14 and goes through Sunday, April 16. Gates open at 9 a.m. And this is between beach markers 9 and 13.
Tickets are $30 for an all weekend pass.
Parking on the beach is free or you can take the shuttles which are free as well.