Some of the best sand sculptors in the world are in San Diego for the U.S. Sandcastle Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Exhibition, which opened Friday for a four-day run on the downtown waterfront.
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Among those taking part in the event on the B Street Pier are artists Kirk Rademaker, Rusty Croft and Sue McGrew, from the Travel Channel television show "Sand Masters." Sculpting teams from as far away as Europe are taking part.
About 300 tons of sand was dumped on the pier last week to prepare for the contest, in which sand sculptors will compete for $20,000 in prize money.
"People would not believe the quality of the sculptures," event organizer Gordon Summer told a local news station.
The event, set to run through Labor Day, is at least a temporary replacement for the annual sandcastle competition in Imperial Beach, which was cancelled because of rising costs. It's unknown whether the Imperial Beach competition will be revived.
Unlike the Imperial Beach event, there is an $8 admission fee for adults and a $5 charge for children 12 and under, active military and seniors over 62.
The location is just down the street from the Maritime Museum of San Diego, which is hosting its annual Festival of Sail, so attendees should be prepared for traffic congestion.
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