July 12, 2012 — In general, I’m not the type of person who seeks out sand sculpture contests…but then I heard about one near me where second and third place were depictions of Hell and the alien from John Carpenter’s The Thing, respectively. That’ll make me visit your sandbox.
So I headed east for Hampton Beach, part of New Hampshire’s scant 18 miles of ocean coast, to see what eternal torment and an R-rated monster would look like in beige rock particulate on a family beach.
Like thousands of other coastal towns, Hampton hosts an annual sand sculpting competition. The creations are judged, awarded prize money, and treated with a solution of glue and water so that they’ll last for a couple of weeks and give New England beach goers something to stare at besides water that’s always too cold to get in.
Fortunately, I made it the day before the planned obsolescence of the sculptures. There were eleven in total, cordoned off from the rest of the beach with an orange fence. Subjects included the Avengers shilling sponsors, a naked fat woman, and the first-place winner, an image of a shrouded female that looked like it belonged on the cover of a paperback with a title like The Grim Reaper’s Girlfriend.
I just looked that title up and it’s not on Amazon, so I’m going to write that book. Agents, call me.
As to the two horror sculptures I was there specifically to see, they were…whimsical. Sand sculptures can’t help but be that, apparently, even when they’re depictions of skeletal Satans and gloopy shape-shifting extraterrestrials.
Oh, and sorry about the quality of the photos. Caught the sculptures at a bad time of day for shadows and they don't allow you to get within "tripping and falling headfirst into them" distance. Better pictures can be found at the Hampton Beach Facebook page.
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|"Protecting Sacred Treasures"|
|"I Am the Beholder"|
|"Chaos + Order"|
|"Goin' to the Chapel"|