Sand sculpture contest highlights Homecoming.

July 28, 2017

Sand sculpture contest highlights Homecoming.

#PentwaterHomecoming2017

By Ron Beeber. Contributing Writer.

PENTWATER — What’s special about Pentwater that can be sculpted from damp sand on Charles Mears State Park’s beautiful beach?

This year’s Pentwater Sand Sculpture Contest is Friday, August 11, and teams this year will be judged on how well they sculpt a design that reflects Pentwater’s 2017 Homecoming theme “Throughout the Years.” The Village is celebrating its 150th Anniversary all this year.

“There are endless possibilities,” said Pentwater Service Club President Terry Valenzano. The club has been sponsoring the event for many years. “Our club’s motto is ‘Making a Great Place Even Better,’ and nothing illustrates this thought better than bringing together Pentwater residents and visitors who compete against each other on that glorious strip of Lake Michigan beach each August during Homecoming Week.”

What’s special about Pentwater that can be sculpted from damp sand on Charles Mears State Park’s beautiful beach?

Those thinking of entering for the first time, as well as returning teams, should now start planning their designs, and learning or refining their sand sculpting skills. A number of videos offering tips are posted on YouTube.

One can also get ideas on what to sculpt by visiting the Pentwater Historical Museum, 85 South Rutledge Street, at the corner of First Street. The museum is open from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

An interesting 18-minute video tour of the museum is posted on the pentwaterhistoricalsociety.org website, and it provides many thought starters for a design.

Ideas include a bust of Pentwater founder Charles Mears, or his daughter Carrie who donated the land that is today Charles Mears State Park; something related to logging or tourism; the Pentwater Railroad Depot that was located on what’s now Chester Street; the old Birdland Hardware Store sign; one of the navigational lights at the channel entrance; a dug-out wooden canoe like the ones built and used by the Native Americans who first inhabited the area; the bell or ship’s wheel of the freighter Novadoc, which sank off Pentwater in November of 1940; the oldest house in Pentwater that’s located at 176 Green Street; a Henry Carter Johnson figurine; the “White Elephant”; the original weathervane that sat atop the original Village Green gazebo; or the original information booth that today is found near the Village Marina on Hancock Street.

Some 35 teams of families and friends typically enter each year. They bring tools that include buckets, long and short-handled shovels, sheets of aluminum flashing and straps to use as forms, a straw to blow through for fine detail work, feathers, water spritzers, and assorted shaping tools like putty knives, spoons and forks.

Team registration begins at 8 a.m. at the state park pavilion. There is no fee to enter the competition. Judging begins at 11 a.m., with first/second/third-place trophies in each of seven categories awarded at noon. Teams will compete in the following age groups (determined by the age of the oldest team member): ages 1-7, 8-9, 10-12, 13-and-over; and Family Flights A, B and C.

Entering teams will be judged on four criteria: adherence to the homecoming theme, creativity, attention to detail, and neatness. Sculptures must be in sand and water only, but items found naturally on our Lake Michigan beach such as dune grass, feathers, drift wood, and zebra mussel shells can be used for decoration.

Free parking is available at Charles Mears State Park for vehicles with a State of Michigan recreation passports. For more information, check out the “Pentwater Sand Sculpture Contest” community page on Facebook, or call 313.498.0155.

This story is copyrighted © 2017, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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