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American Sand Sculpting Championship comes back to Southwest Florida’s Fort Myers Beach

 First got here COVID-19. Then Hurricane Ian.

That one-two punch of natural disasters has kept Fort Myers Beach’s annual American Sand Sculpting Championship off the beach since 2019.

But that changes this November, when the favored sand-sculpting competition returns for its long-delayed Thirty fourth-annual event.  And in case you have not seen those master sand sculptors at work, you have been missing out.

“Our master champions that compete on this competition, their sculptures can reach 8, 10, 12 feet high,” says Jacki Liszak, executive director of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce. “They’re huge. It’s awe-inspiring to see what these folks are in a position to do with a pile of sand and a few water.”

Back on Fort Myers Beach: The American Sand Sculpting Championship

Attendees look at John Gowdy's sand sculpture titled

The chamber announced Friday that the American Sand Sculpting Championship will return this November. It’s the biggest sand-sculpting event in Florida and typically attracts about 50,000 people over 10 days ― a few of whom plan their vacations around it, Liszak says.

“We’re so excited to give you the option to bring this back to the Beach,” she says.

The championship attracts top-tier sand-sculpting artists from around the USA and the world. Together, they turn Fort Myers Beach’s sand into giant sculptures of dragons, octopuses, VW Beetles, mermaids, castles and just about the rest they will imagine.

The event often features greater than 40 sculptures on the beach, plus vendors, sand-sculpting lessons, demonstrations and live bands.

More concerning the Fort Myers Beach sand sculpting championship

Charles Beaulieu works on his sand sculpture during the 33rd annual American Sand Sculpting Championship at Wyndham Garden Hotel in Fort Myers Beach on Sunday, November 24, 2019.

The American Sand Sculpting Championship returns Nov. 21-24 to host hotel Diamondhead Beach Resort, where a lot of the activities will happen. But latest this 12 months: More events planned for other Estero Island hotels and venues, Liszak says. The goal is to spread the economic impact across the island.

The championship is a qualifying event for other U.S. sand-sculpting competitions.

For more information, call 454-7500 or visit sandsculptingfmb.com.

What to know:26 restaurants now open on Fort Myers Beach, from waterfront wonders to small beach bars

John Gowdy works on his sand sculpture titled

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