The Siesta Key Crystal Classic wrapped up this weekend after drawing thousands to Siesta Key Beach for the seventh year in a row. The festival, which raises money for endangered sea turtles through Mote Marine Laboratory, draws sand sculptors from all over the world, including Ireland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Portugal. The U.S. was represented by teams from California, New York, Rhode Island, Texas and Florida. Teams of two master sand sculptors competed for a total prize of $15,000.

“The sand sculptors truly wowed us this year with their creativity and detailed craftsmanship, and the wonderful turnout has shown us that people love this event and love Siesta Beach,” event chair Maria Bankemper says. “Siesta Beach was recently declared No. 1 beach in the U.S. by TripAdvisor, and this festival adds to the many qualities that make this beach such a jewel. We thank the sculptors, the sponsors and our event partners at Mote Marine Lab from the bottom of our hearts.”

The sculptures will be on through tomorrow for those who want to see them; for more information, visit the Siesta Key Crystal Classic website.

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