This week began with what would usually be the annual Masters’ Cup Competition in sand sculpting, hosted on Treasure Island, just outside of Saint Petersburg, Florida.
However, in 2020 nothing happens as it usually would.
A themed sand exhibition, called ‘Sandhenge,’ has replaced the competition. As the event would typically attract sculptors from all over the world, international travel restrictions just wouldn’t make that possible.
The exhibition also added a sponsor sculpture that identified sponsoring businesses and the City of Treasure Island.
Getting Into Sanding Ovation Early
We weren’t really sure what this year’s exhibition was going to be like. So, Mark headed over a few days before the start and was pleasantly surprised to see the safety precautions being put in place.
Additionally, getting there early meant no crowds. The food concessions and vendor booths were just beginning to be set up. And more importantly, several of the sculptors were hard at work on their creations.
Sanding Ovation COVID-19 Plan
The Sanding Ovations committee and the city have put together a very comprehensive plan to monitor the current CDC Guidelines and adjust accordingly.
Their COVID-19 plan allows for huge amounts of space between the sand sculptures, food concessions, and vendors to promote physical distancing.
Included in the plan are arrangements for cashless parking and purchases and
replacing the Main Stage with two smaller stages. Additionally, local bands and entertainment will replace the national and touring headliners the event usually attracts.
Incredible Sand Sculptures
The sculptors who are part of the exhibition are incredible! This was actually the first time we’ve been home for this event, and the work is mind-blowing.
We noticed that many of the sculptures were set up with lighting. It would be fun to head back at night and see them lit.
The ONLY thing we wish they had done differently – and honestly, they might add them later – would be signage to identify each sculptor’s work. So, we apologize in advance for not tagging individual sculptors’.
This is a fantastic annual event that you should put on your travel plans if you are coming to the Tampa – Saint Petersburg area in the future!
Be sure to check out our Instagram page for additional photos from the event.