Harry Potter castle, dragons appear at Coney Island’s 25th Annual Sand Sculpting Contest
The beach at Coney Island was teeming with crocodiles, octopi and all manner of creatures — real and imaginary — Saturday morning as Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) and Astella Development Corporation staged its annual Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest. Now in its 25th year, this year’s day-long festival featured 79 teams that tested their skills at shaping moistened sand and drew thousands of onlookers.
With piles of sand arranged on the beach in the early morning awaiting them upon their arrival, some participants were already at work on their creations well before the official start of the event. As a forecast of low humidity, light breeze and bright sun — conditions most beachgoers would crave! — can prove disastrous to sculpting sand, elaborate constructions like some of the contest’s massive sandcastles require abundant moisture to hold shape. So the early start is crucial.
Among those at work on their creation early was “Team Russo” — Frank Russo and Joe Sloboda — whose efforts captured first place in the adult team category with an 8-foot tall Harry Potter-themed castle. No less diligently John O’Keefe, a past winner at the contest, got a head start on his three-towered sand castle, which took the prize in the adult individual category.