What is it?
  The American Sandsculpting Festival is basically two sand sculpting competitions, held in some of the best sand for this purpose in all of North America. One competition is for professional level sand carvers, who compete over a number of days, and one competition for amateurs, with categories for teams of up to five persons each in Youth, Teen, Adult and Business divisions and the Family division that allows for any number of members of a single (immediate) family. All Amateur divisions compete in a one day event on the last day of the festival (Sunday). The event is presented by the Greater Fort Myers Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. It is held annually at the location of the two  Host Sponsors, The Outrigger Beach Resort  and The Holiday Inn on the Beach.. Both these fine hotels are located on Estero Boulevard in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. The event  is always held the the first full weekend in November. The pros finish competing after two and a half days as the amateurs are just getting underway on Sunday. In the Calendar year 2000, the dates are November 2-5. This year marks the 14th annual edition of ASF.
    In addition to providing accommodations and meals for the competitors in the Masters Class, the Outrigger Beach Resort and the Holiday Inn on the Beach both provide a beautiful setting for both the Pro/Am divisions, and for the General public to enjoy a wonderful weekend of watching (or participating in!) the captivating medium of delicate sand artistry. The finished sculptures remain on display for an indefinite period of time after the show each year. The show is produced and directed by

  The Sultans of Sand Worldwide Sand Sculpture Services. A sand sculpture company that provides all manner of goods and service relating to sand.
 
 

The Format.
  The Masters Class is for solo competitors of the highest level in today's world of professional sand sculpting. These individuals, who may travel here from all over the world, compete over a number of days beginning with the organizational meeting on Thursday November 2, and finishing the sculpting on Sunday at noon. They will vie for cash prizes in the top three places determined by the jury vote, as well as other ASF medals that are: The Peoples Choice Award, (popular vote of the spectators on the beach by ballot) and The Sculptors Choice Award.( a peer recognition award determined by the sculptors choosing their favorites from amongst their fellow competitors). Visit this page for:  Detailed Masters Class Info
  There is also an exhibition piece of Master level work that is not in the race for the medals, which is a communal effort of a number of  the attending pros that is also on display..
  The amateur division is always run on Sunday (this year November 5). It includes categories for teams of up to five persons in four open amateur divisions including a hotly contested (in a friendly rivalry) Business division. These teams and individuals compete for trophies and bragging rights. Go here for: Detailed Amateur Divisions info.
The awards for both divisions and all categories are announced and presented  in the afternoon on the final Sunday. The awards presentation are alternated annually at one hotel one year and the other hotel the next year. The hotel that does not have the awards presentation is the hotel that will feature the demonstration sculpture. This year, the awards presentation is on the large pool deck and Tiki Hut bar area at the Outrigger Beach Resort. The demo sculpture is located at the Holiday Inn on the Beach.
 

 The Judging.
  The work is judged by a jury panel of at least six, but not more than twelve members. Half the panel is selected as judges because they have a background in the visual arts. The other half are lay persons of various backgrounds. They all judge the works in various ways, being there is no mandatory criteria for the judges or the sculptors, though criteria guidelines are provided to both the sculptors and judges should either party feel they want to use it as a guideline. The sculptors are mostly familiar with this criteria from other events, and usually incorporate some or all of it anyway. For the criteria suggestions visit the Masters Class info page. It can be argued that all judgments of a subjective nature are primarily opinion based, and no one can be wrong in their individual preferences. But obviously persons of artistic natures will have somewhat different opinions than persons not visually versed. Being that this show is produced for the masses, basically as a commercial venture driven by popular appeal, the producers have chosen to format the judging this way. It is to attempt a balance in the representation of artistic types (since the competitors are artists) and also of the common culture (because the show is for the general population) The difference in the results from a show that is judge this way as opposed to shows judged by all artists or even the competitors themselves is actually quite negligible, due to the wide variations and discrepancies in personal tastes and cultural values. All events are subject to some persons feeling that the judging results are not satisfactory simply because we are all indeed individuals with different perceptions. Since it is practically universally agreed you can't please everyone all of the time, the producers are implementing this method of judging for the reasons stated above, combined with the fact that they think that overall, this is the most fair method, to the most people (including the audience that the show is geared to and who ultimately supports the event)
  The Amateurs are judged by representatives from the Masters Class.

For complete details about schedules, rules, regulations, awards and judging aspects, etc., visit the Masters Class info and Amateur Divisions info pages

Getting There.
   The Outrigger Beach Resort is located at 6200 Estero Boulevard, on the gulf coast of Florida. The Holiday Inn on the Beach is just a few blocks south at  6890 Estero Blvd.
both mailing addresses include:   Fort Myers Beach, Florida. USA 33931
 The Southwest Florida International Airport is approximately a 30 minute drive from both hotels. Interstate 75 is the main artery by car.
For more detailed directions, visit the Outrigger Maps & Directions Page and the Holiday Inn on the Beach Maps & Directions Page

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Email: info@sultansofsand.com