It all began in 2000 with twenty-five cents. One quarter. The New Hampshire Quarter to be precise.
Local artist and master sand sculptor Gregory Grady was commissioned by the U.S. Mint to create a larger than life replica of the new tail side edition New Hampshire quarter out of ten tons of sand during the Hampton Beach Children’s Festival.
At the time, it was just a part if the statewide celebration held for the release of that coin. It was something Hampton Beach had never seen the likes of before! Fortunately, it was something Hampton Beach would see again. The following year, the first annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpture Competition was held.
When 220 tons of imported sand was trucked into the beach with Gregory Grady and his ‘bunch’ laboring for five days on the sponsor site followed by a three day competition of ten world class masters creating their own unique sculpture, a new era was born and sand sculpture had arrived to the northeast. Over the course of the event nothing but sand, water, and a bit of their own creativity is used to create astonishing works of art out of shapeless heaps of sand.
When completed they are sprayed with windscreen (a solution of school glue and water) to protect them from the elements and remain standing for viewing for weeks creating a free museum of master pieces on the beach. This invitational only event has grown in leaps and bounds making it the largest Masters competition in the Northeast United States.
This year Hampton Beach will feature a sponsor site of 150 tons, Ten world class masters vying for $15,000.00 in purse and entry awards, free lessons and will be illuminated at night for viewing and much much more. Hampton has attracted the attention of millions of visitors who came to watch something which is part sculpture part performance art. It is something you have to see in person to believe. Because Hampton has great world class sand sculpting and a whole lot more!