Siesta Key Sand Sculpting Festival

Siesta Key Sand Sculpting Festival

At Big Jim Self Storage, we feel very fortunate to be able to live and work in such a cool place as Sarasota, Florida. There is always something fun to do here in Sarasota including the Siesta Key Crystal Classic Sand Sculpting Festival which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. What fun to spend a few hours on world-renowned Siesta Beach looking at the most amazing sand sculptures you could ever imagine.

Following is an informative Sarasota Herald-Tribune article which describes this one-of-a-kind festival.

Crystal Classic celebrates 10 years of sand sculpting on Siesta Key

Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday; Siesta Public Beach, 948 Beach Road, Sarasota. Tickets: Adults, $8 online or $10 per day at the gate; children age 5-17, $5 per day if accompanied by paying adult. Four-day pass, online-only, $30 per person, $20 for children age 5-17 with paying adult. Parking is free but limited. Beat the crowds by using the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley or SCAT scheduled service. Info:

The Siesta Key Crystal Classic celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, once again bringing the best sand sculptors in the world to Sarasota’s favorite beach.

The four-day event starting Friday features music, food, and drink in the Vendor Village and a host of sand sculpting events. The popular festival has become a destination event, drawing visitors to the beach that was twice named America’s No. 1 Beach by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach.

“There are lots for people to do,” said event spokeswoman Eileen Parkinson.

Some of the area’s most popular bands, including Lauren Mitchell, Rev. Barry and the Funk and Kettle of Fish, are returning to the main stage.

Again, the event will stay open after dark on Saturday and Sunday to allow festival-goers to see the sand sculptures under colored lights.

The Crystal Classic offers a celebration of the theme “Sand and Sea,” and spectators can get their hands sandy in the Learning Curve instructional tent and also participate in Saturday’s popular amateur contest.

Attendees can vote on the “People’s Choice” sculptures throughout the festival. Awards are announced at 3 p.m. Sunday.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary, the Crystal Classic is donating a portion of the proceeds to fund student scholarships at Sarasota’s Ringling College of Art and Design.

“We are really proud that we are able to do that because of everybody who has supported the Crystal Classic,” Parkinson said.

In a nod to sustainability, the festival is also providing two Water Monsters this year, so bring a refillable cup or container for water or buy a souvenir cup in the Vendor Village to cut down on the use of plastic bottles.

Remember, the sand will be restored to its original state early Tuesday morning, so get out and see these world-class artists’ creations over the weekend or by the end of the festival at 5 p.m. Monday.

Some of the most popular events include:

Amateur competition: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Children and adults compete in five different categories for cash prizes, with Master Sculptors judging the competition.

Quick sand: This popular event allows audience members to pick the theme while two professional sculptors whip up carvings in 10 minutes on the Sand Gallery Stage. Quicksand is at 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday with the finals at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Learning Curve Tent: Multiple opportunities to learn from the masters are offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Vendor Village: A variety of food and drink are available onsite, including boxed water. Shop the many retail vendors set up in the village surrounding the competition area.

Main stage live music:


11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: John Patti and Sunny Jim

2 to 4:45 p.m.: Ari and the Alibis


10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Lauren Mitchell

2 to 5 p.m.: Kettle of Fish

6 to 9 p.m.: 22N


10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Tropical Ave band

2 to 5 p.m.: Twinkle

6 to 9 p.m.: Rev. Barry and the Funk


11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Island Chill Band

2 to 4:30 p.m.: Cabana Dogs