Bradenton Beach hosted an outdoor gallery Nov. 20 with the arrival of Sandblast 2010, the annual sand-sculpture contest organized by Keep Manatee Beautiful.
The BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach, served as the main sponsor of the event, which featured a recycled art exhibit, showcased an 80-ton sand-sculpture created by Team Sandtastic and matched nearly two dozen teams in a friendly sand-sculpting competition.
Teams, each working with sand piled in a 15 by 15 plot, started sculpting at about 9 a.m. The contest rules required sculptures to be along one of three themes — free form, nautical or holiday.
Participants included the Anna Maria Island Privateers, Bradenton Boys and Girls Club members, and students from Bayshore High School, Braden River Middle School, Braden River High School, Bradenton Christian High School, Lincoln Middle School, Manatee High School, Manatee School for the Arts, Southeast High School, State College of Florida students and Wakeland Elementary School.
Prior to the Sandblast contest, Team Sandtastic held a series of sculpting clinics on the Gulf of Mexico shore just south of the BeachHouse. Also, for three days prior to the contest, the professional team worked on its sandy holiday showpiece that likely will remain on the beach for the next month.
Team Sandastic holds a Guinness World Record for the tallest sandcastle ever built in less than 100 people-hours — the sandcastle was 28 feet, 7 1/4 inches tall.