The popular Parksville Beach Festival is returning to the seaside community this weekend, complete with its spectacular sand sculpting competition.
Sculptors arrived at the festival grounds at Parksville Community Park on Thursday to prepare their sculpting stations, before carving was officially set to kick off on Friday, July 14.
Gates to the festival open at 2 p.m. Friday for spectators to come view the master carvers in action.
The theme for this year’s event is “Wonders of the world.”
Similarly, this year’s competition includes solo and doubles teams from around the world.
Many sculptors come from Canada and the U.S., but others come from as far afield as Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands and Russia.
Judging for the sculptures takes place on Sunday from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., with winners announced at approximately 5 p.m.
Visitors can also vote on a “People’s Choice Award” sculpture during the competition.
Entry to the festival is by donation, with organizers encouraging a donation of $5 per person.
“Proceeds from your donation support several local non-profit organizations with approximately $70,000 per year being donated back to these volunteer community groups,” reads the Parksville Beach Fest website.
“Since 1999 the Parksville Beach Festival Society has given back approximately $1-million thanks to your generous donations.”
Last year, more than 115,000 visitors came to spectate the event.
More information about the festival and the sculptors can be found on the Parksville Beach Fest website.