A festival-style family event with a non-qualifying doubles sand sculpting competition, music and children's activities has been officially permitted at the Holiday Inn on the south end of Estero Island at 6890 Estero Boulevard from March 31 through April 3.
The Fort Myers Beach Town Council unanimously approved "Sand Bash" Feb. 2 after permitting by the Lee County Sheriff's Office, Fort Myers Beach Fire Department and the Department of Environmental Protection agency.
Big C Events President Jason Camp partnered with Pincher's Crab Shack operating director Grant Phelan, Big C Events chief operating officer, Holiday Inn owner John Callis, Bonnie Roberts Events owner Bonnie Roberts, Sand Lubbers' Bill Knight, Brian Wigelsworth and at least two Kiwanis organizations to form an event management coalition.
The layout of the grounds for the “Sand Bash” on Fort Myers Beach.
"Obviously, because of timing, we had to do a lot of pre-planning with the proper paperwork, insurance and pre-schedule the sculptors," said Camp.
Sand Bash will feature nine tandem teams with some of the world's best master sculptors and 10 sand sculptures competing for a $10,000 purse. The average carving will be more than two stories tall with 400 square feet of sand at its base.
Council members worried about holding an event in the heart of tourist season but free shuttles from Lover's Key will help, Camp said.
What: $10,000 "Sand Bash" sandsculpting competition and festival
When: March 31-April 3
Where: Holiday Inn on the south end of Estero Island at 6890 Estero Boulevard
Why: Proceeds go to the Kiwanis
Cost: $8 per day for adult, $5 for ages 5-17 or seniors 55-plus. Children under 5 get in free.
Multi-day pass discounts available.
"We have twice as many shuttles as other events with the same scope in the past," he said. "We'd rather invest in a quality experience and make sure everybody who is coming out to the event is not restricted by delays. We also have auxiliary parking at the corner of U.S. 41 and Bonita Beach Road where people can hop onto the Lee County Tran and head to the Holiday Inn."
Admission is $8 per day for adult, $5 for ages 5-17 or seniors 55-plus. Children under 5 get in free.
"We'll also have four-day passes for adults ($20) and kids and seniors ($15), said Camp. "We want to give people something fun to do with live music all day long and masterpieces for them to view and a lot of kids' activities. The hotels are sold out and the condos are packed."
Besides all-day musical entertainment and a large children's activity area, the event will feature demonstrations, evening "quick sand" (10-minute creation) competitions and exhibit sculptures.
Proceeds go to the Kiwanis, which volunteers for the event. Go to sandbash.com for more information.