Artists from all over the world came to Atlantic City for the World Championship of Sand Sculpting this weekend, and on Sunday the solo division winners were announced.
From toddlers to seniors, almost everyone has built a sand castle at some point in their life, but odds are, you've never built one like this. Spectator Osiris Velasquez said, "This is so awesome - the whole world has to see it!"
1.2 million pounds of fine grade sand has been transformed into fantastic works of art.
20 world class sculptors have been competing in the in the solo division for the past 2 days and on Sunday, the winners were announced.
1st place winner, Karen Fralich, told NBC40, "This means a lot, I'm still in shock right now. I'm kind of at a loss for words. Just amazing, it's an honor, what else can I say?"
Judges say they were looking for four main things when evaluating the sculptures: overall design, artistic merit, technical difficulty and the ‘wow factor.' Fralich said, "Just be brave, don't be afraid to try anything and don't be afraid to get dirty."
Event officials teamed up with the Atlantic City Alliance to produce the championship and say they wanted to bring a fun, free, family attraction to the city. Sculptor Brian Turnbough said, "The crowd has been great - everybody seems to appreciate it. There are people coming off the boardwalk all day long. This weekend has been crazy, I mean, I don't know how many thousands of people have gone through here today but it's a lot."
Event organizer, John Gowdy, said, "I think with the numbers we are pulling in right now we will have it next year and every year after that hopefully."
And be on the lookout for more sand sculptures as the doubles championship will be in Atlantic City next weekend.
The Atlantic City competition marks only the third time this event has ever been held in the United States since it began in the 1980s.