Flashback: Siesta Beach Amateur Sand Sculpture Contest, 1976

A free, family-friendly tradition for 46 years on America’s No. 1 beach.

By Ilene Denton May 20, 2020

Siesta Beach, 1976. Photograph by Joseph Janney Steinmetz.

The free, family-friendly Amateur Sand Sculpture Contest has brought out the sand-pail-and-shovel crowd to Siesta Beach since 1973 to create delightful works of art crafted from the world’s whitest sand. Sponsored by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and Sarasota County Parks and Rec, the event is far more homespun than the professional Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition that began in 2010. Sadly, this year’s amateur contest was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photographer Joseph Janney Steinmetz shot this photograph of competitors building sand sculptures in 1976.

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