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Sandcastle Tradition Continues With Improvised Event

Former U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition teams joined together in Imperial Beach Sunday for an impromptu build.

The Sandwallowers, I.B. Posse, the Benham family and young volunteers continued a tradition of summer sandcastles on Imperial Beach shores Sunday with an impromptu build.

The Sandwallowers sculpted a turtle, mermaid and octopus.

I.B. Posse built a dragon coming out of a castle.

Known as SandQuest, the Benhan family  built a sandy banner that read "Thanx for the memories: U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition 1980-2011."

For the first time in decades, official Kids 'N Kastles Sandcastle Competition and the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition were not held this year.

The U.S. Open Sancastle Committee disbanded in fall 2011 but the future of sandcastle competitions in Imperial Beach remains unclear.

Julia Simms of CHE Marketing attempted to bring together stakeholders earlier this year to put a competition together but talks failed to culminate in a new competition.

Preliminary talks continue for a possible sandcastle event in 2013 as part of a Sun & Sea Festival for a new generation to attact about 40,000 people to the area.

In comparison, 400,000 or more people are estimated to have attended the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition in years past.

The Sun & Sea Festival has roots in Imperial Beach dating back to 1960. Like festivals of the past, a parade and Sun & Sea Ball have been proposed.

Imperial Beach Patch editor Khari Johnson contributed to this report.

Unlike the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition,

Jon Hall July 24, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Must have been nice to be there --- damn shame only the *chosen few* were allowed to know about it Khari, to correct you --- it was in no way impromptu --- there were those who planned this for quite a while --- they just decided the locals didn't need to know about it --- until after the fact (first notification was a Facebook posting around 12:00 Sunday) No worries though --- the Sandcastle event has been adopted by Downtown San Diego --- it will be bigger, better, and best of all the proceeds go to Children's charities instead of into the Sheriff's pocket (for protection) ... http://ussandsculpting.com/
Duke July 24, 2012 at 02:19 PM
I feel that the prime mover in the demise of the sand castle contest was the Sheriffs Dept. Number one is their prohibitive cost of providing extra security for the event and 2, they are not interested in the City or it's financial success. What Say You?
vicky whaley July 24, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I agree with Jon Hall, i would have loved to know about it so i could check it out. The Sheriffs department sucks at security on the average day. Born and raise in I.B.
Kendal Sharp July 24, 2012 at 07:10 PM
I agree Duke. 3. A city council that doesn't care.
Marcus Boyd July 29, 2012 at 09:28 PM
I have no idea how to create a 'flash mob' but if knew how I'd create one called #ibsandcastles. I'd invite food trucks and other beach communities to attend & compete, without the city's permit or permission! The beach is, at least for now, still ours and free! Obviously IB should take 'official fun' away from city officials!

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