The Fun Ramps up at Canobie Lake Park Weekends in September & October With A Country Music Festival and SCREEEMFEST!

SALEM, NH – It may be back to school and off to work during the week, but Canobie Lake Park has your weekends covered with plenty of thrills and chills over the next two months. The Park is open Labor Day Weekend, Friday through Monday, when you can enjoy rides, games and the final performances of Canobie’s summer shows.

Then get ready for Canobie Lake Park’s new Country Music Festival to be held over two weekends, September 9-10 and September 16-17. In addition to Canobie rides, games and attractions, there will be live shows featuring tributes to the music of Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks and Shania Twain. Live bluegrass bands are also scheduled throughout each day. Bring your appetite and dig in at the Festival’s “Smokin’ BBQ,” featuring a variety of apple-wood smoked items including ribs, pulled pork and brisket, plus a selection of beer and wine.

Beginning September 9th, Canobie’s Petting Zoo is also open every Saturday and Sunday from 1PM to 5PM through October 22nd. Youngsters and their families can interact with a menagerie of gentle animals.

The fun continues each weekend through October with your favorite Canobie rides, games and more. On September 23rd, SCREEEMFEST adds its special brand of fear to all the fun after dark, haunting Canobie Lake Park each Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening through October 29th. And there’s plenty to “screeem” about, too.

There are five terrifying haunted houses open during SCREEEMFEST, including their newest haunt, The Culling.” You’ll also find roaming “monsters” and a monster parade throughout the park, Halloween-themed games and much more.

Canobie Lake Park is known for delivering quality live entertainment at no additional charge, and fall is no exception. Rock on with Canobie’s ROCKtoberfest event that features a different rock tribute band each weekend during Screeemfest on Canobie’s Midway Stage. As if that wasn’t enough, the “SwingShift SideShow” presents strange feats of physical daring that are truly not for the faint of heart. And the live show, “Tribute to Michael: Ghosts,” will thrill audiences the last three weekends in October.

One low admission price for Canobie’s fall events includes all haunted houses, operating rides, ROCKtoberfest, the petting zoo, all live entertainment and much more. For park hours, show schedules, directions, and more information, visit canobie.com.

It’s just a WEEK AWAY…..

28th Annual Seafood Festival @ Hampton Beach!

seafood-festival1The 28th Annual Seafood Festival will take place on the weekend of September 8-10, 2017. This event has been rated one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association. Featuring 60 of the Seacoast’s top restaurants offering their very best seafood dishes, continuous entertainment, end-of-season sidewalk sales, an arts and crafts tent, a beer tent, lobster eating contest, a spectacular fireworks display on the beach and more!

For kids, there are many activities to do as well. Not to mention lots of sand to play in and water to splash in.  Come out and visit us as the summer season winds to a close!

seafood-festivalVisit www.hamptonbeachseafoodfestival.com for details on times, entertainment schedule and participating exhibitors, free parking and shuttle schedules. Ocean Boulevard (Center Beach) is closed to traffic and becomes a pedestrian mall from the Marine Memorial (The Lady) to H Street to accommodate the anticipated 150,000+ visitors each day!

Sample the flavors of the seacoast at New England’s largest seaside festival. Over 50 restaurants join together, offering an extensive menu of seafood delicacies, Gala festivities include:
Over 60 Art & Craft dealers, 3 stages of entertainment, children’s activities and our new Children’s Center, street performers, a 200 foot beer tent, sidewalk bargain sales, and an amazing display of fireworks on Friday and Saturday night. (Ocean Boulevard closed to traffic). Choose from favorites like lobster, shrimp, clams (steamed, broiled, barbecued or fried) to non-seafood items like “Bloomin’ Onion” and fried ice cream.

  • Continuous entertainment on 3 stages featuring some of the best local bands in the area – from Blues to Country, Rock & Roll and even a little Jazz.
  • Hospitality and more entertainment in our Beverage Tent serving Budweiser & Red Hook beer!
  • Spectacular fireworks display – Saturday the 9th at 8 PM
  • Sidewalk Sales (end of season clearance-SAVE $$$$)
  • Craft Fair – Over 60 Crafts Persons displaying their wares!
  • Children’s Center – Ongoing Entertainment – Face Painting, Games and Street Performers

 

SEAFOOD FESTIVAL ADMISSION COST:
Friday: $5.00; Saturday, $10.00; Sunday, $8.00. *A portion of Admission Proceeds go to support the Hampton Rotary Club. Children under 12 are free of charge.
**PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED – PER TOWN ORDINANCE

JOIN US FOR RISE & SHINE SUP YOGA IN RYE HARBOR!

Sunday, August 6. This class will begin at 9:45 AM.

Challenge yourself by taking your practice to the water.

Yoga and stand up paddleboarding (sup) just happen to go together very well. Doing yoga on a paddleboard enhances the yoga workout. The paddleboard makes a fine yoga mat and the extra balance required by being on the water intensifies the yoga routine. The peacefulness and tranquility of floating on the water combines nicely with the meditative nature of yoga.

Increase focus & concentration. Increase balance & core strength. Connect with nature. Challenge your practice with SUP YO!

Free parking is available just before the Rye Harbor State Park. Pull off the road and park in the dirt lot/boat launch.

  • Space is limited to 10 students.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to class. Class is 75 minutes in length.
  • Register as BYOB when supplying your own SUP, Paddle & Anchor.
  • Visit KNOW BEFORE YOU GO for more info on what to where/bring/etc.
 
Peace,
 
Jana Olenio, Owner + Founder
SUP YO! Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga
A Division of Free Spirit, LLC

A Weekend of Fun

This weekend is loaded with all sorts of fun events!

 

Saturday, July 29th @ 10:30am

Northeast Beach Volleyball Tournament

North East Beach Volleyball is proud to be a USAV Event Promoter of the American Beach Tour! In every tournament we run, our players are competing for bids to the ABT Junior National Championships in the Open Division.

Click here for a tournament guide

 

– – – –

 

Saturday, July 29th @ 2:00pm

Little/Jr. Miss Hampton Beach

Little/JR Miss Hampton Beach, at 2 p.m., a sister pageant to Miss Hampton Beach. We will be crowning a Little Miss and JR Miss Hampton Beach to help in promoting our seacoast area. Click here for an Application, Guidelines and more Information or contact Director Stephanie Rose Lussier 603-512-5257 or Princess50@yahoo.com.

Hamptons’ Got Talent!

Hampton Beach Talent Competition Schedule

Friday August 25, 26, and 27th, 2017

Come watch talented entertainers compete for cash prizes. 1st $1,000, 2nd $500, 3rd $300
Limited to Vocalist in one of two categories. (Junior & Senior)
Junior category, up to age 18. Senior category, age 18 and over.

Semi Finals
24 Junior Competitors on Friday August 25th
Semi Finals
24 Senior Competitors on Saturday August 26th
Finals
For both Juniors And Seniors Sunday August 27th

Contestants will mail an audition tape, photograph and a brief biography and shirt size to:
Glen French
Seashell Entertainment
PO Box 442
Hampton NH 03843
Email Us

All entries must be post marked no later than July 28, 2017. Live auditions are August 6 from 12-5 p.m.

The evening of the performance a panel of judges will select winners based on:
– Vocal ability
– Stage presence
– Entertainment value

Selected participants will be required to:
A. Submit their performance selection prior to their performance on August 26th (Semi Finals)
B. Day of performance Artist will bring performance track (CD or Tape)
C. Hampton Beach Talent Competition will supply all necessary equipment, (sound & microphones)
D. If selected in the Semi Finals (August 25 or 26, 2017) to perform as a FINALIST (August 27, 2017) each performer must have a second song selection to perform.

Please note this competition is open to VOCALISTS ONLY. This competition is not affiliated with any other competition, local, national or otherwise and is solely offered for entertainment of visitors of Hampton Beach. Contact Glen French for additional information at glen@glenfrench.com to get an application via e-mail.

Download 2017 Hampton Beach Talent Competition Application

2017 Fireworks Schedule

There’s nothing like fireworks on the beach!

 

Fireworks are held weekly every Wednesday during the summer, on the beach at the top of B and C Streets, beside the Atlantic Ocean. Bring a blanket and the whole family to experience the magic of the night sky lit by a display of beautiful fireworks. There are a total of 18 shoots scheduled in 2017 including special displays on Memorial Day Weekend, the 4th of July, Labor Day Weekend and to celebrate other events. All of the shoots are at 9:30 p.m. with a rain date of the following Friday if they are cancelled due to inclement weather.

Full Fireworks Schedule:

May 28, 2017 – **Special shoot in honor of Memorial Day**
June 17, 2017 – **Special shoot for Sand Sculpting Competition**
June 14, 21, 28, 2017
July 4, 2017 – **Special shoot to celebrate the 4th of July**
July 5, 12, 19, 26, 2017
August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2017
September 3, 2017 – **Special Labor Day shoot**
September 9, 2017 – Special shoot for the Seafood Festival (at 8 p.m.)
December 31, 2017 – Special shoot to celebrate New Year’s Eve (at 8 p.m.)

 

Monday Night Movies On the Beach!

Fun Family Entertainment. All for Free!

An evening under the stars on our 5 star beach. Weather permitting. Movies to be on the beach near the Playground. Make this summerseas At dusk. Start times vary through the summer as the sun sets late at the beginning of the season and earlier each week after.

7:30pm On the beach across from the Playground – Route 1A, Hampton, NH, USA

Full Movie Schedule Below:

Monday, July 24
Monday, July 31
Monday, August 7
Monday, August 14
Monday, August 21
Monday, August 28 – LAST CHANCE

Camping On the Coast

Summer is officially here, which in New Hampshire probably entails camping for many people. Not all campgrounds are the same, however, and not all camping experiences are the same.

Here is the lowdown on some campgrounds in and around the Seacoast and the kinds of camping they offer, as well as some tips and ideas on how to maximize your outdoorsy vacation.

 

How do you want to camp?

“Roughing it” is not for everyone, but there may be no better place than the Seacoast to try tent camping. Regardless of where you pitch your tent, you are only a few minutes away from the ocean and the great dining and shopping options all along the coast.

Just because you are close to civilization, however, doesn’t mean you can’t lose yourself in nature along the Seacoast, as there are several campgrounds that feature great spots for tenting.

For Laura Ferrigno of Wakeda Campground in Hampton Falls, the magic of their campground begins with the land itself, which she said provides a rustic sort of feel. She said her family has owned the campground for three generations, which helps to create a family-like atmosphere.

“My grandparents started this place in 1965,” she said. “It’s not unusual to have third- and fourth-generation campers who continue to come back. My grandparents are 96 and 92, so they can still see the campground thrive. It’s a great atmosphere.”

A mile off the road and surrounded by woods, Wakeda Campground features more than 60 sites for tenting with some that offer no water or electricity and others that offer both.

“You get a picnic table and fireplace with these sites, too,” said Ferrigno.
At The Green Gate Campground in Exeter, there are roughly two dozen tenting sites, each with water and electricity. As with Wakeda, individual sites include a firepit and a picnic table.

“The sites here are beautiful,” said Jan Liu, owner of The Green Gate. “They are surrounded by mature trees and are very shady.”

Christine Infantine is the owner of Ferndale Acres Campground in Lee, which features about 10 tenting sites. She has several suggestions for tent campers.

“You want two tarps with one to put down on the ground for moisture under the tent and a second one for the top in case it rains — moisture collects easily in tents,” she said. “You should also bring a little outdoor rug to put shoes on, which will keep the tent clean.”
Infantine suggests bringing a power strip and an extension cord if your tent site has electricity.

“You may also want to bring some outdoor lights — Christmas icicle lights are a great idea — which help brighten your site up at night,” she said. “You can string them from the trees.”
Whereas tenting is fairly rustic, RVs provide a level of comfort and sophistication to the camping experience. One thing to keep in mind with RVs, though, is that every campground has different rules and regulations.

Noting they have well over 30 RV sites at Wakeda, Ferrigno said many campground sites have length restrictions.

“Be aware of the size of the rig — every inch matters,” she said. “Make sure you know how much electricity your rig requires, too, especially when it comes to air conditioning.”

At Ferndale Acres, which features several dozen RV sites, Infantine has a money-saving tip.

“For those staying long-term, we always suggest turning your RV fridge from electric to propane, too,” she added. “It costs a lot less.”

It also does not hurt to have a checklist of things to make sure you do upon arrival at the site. Some basic suggestions from campground owners include looking for low-hanging branches or items on the ground that could get in the way of your RV’s wheels; parking your rig close to the hookups and leveling it with blocks or stabilizing jacks; switching your appliances to the campground’s power supply; and attaching your sewer hose to the drain hook-up.

If tenting is a little too outdoorsy for you and you don’t want to deal with the work that comes from owning or even renting an RV, another option is renting a cabin. They can make camping much more manageable for new campers or those with younger children.
Some feature kitchens and running water and some do not, so be sure to call and ask what amenities are included with each cabin. The variables are significant and mean the difference between “barely more than a tent” cabins and more luxurious cabins.

The cabins at Wakeda Campground in Hampton Falls, for example, include twin bunk beds and a full-size bed, lights and electricity, a screened porch, and a picnic table, fireplace and water spigot on site.

Over at Exeter Elms Campground, a Full Cabin includes a full bed, twin bunks, sofa bed, loft, kitchen and bathroom. Kitchen includes fridge, stove, oven, microwave, toaster, coffeemaker, dishes, pots and silverware. But a Riverfront Rustic Cabin does not have a kitchen or a bathroom. It all depends on how rustic you want your camping experience to be.

 

Packing for your trip

For Rob Garneau, owner of Travel & Nature in Exeter, a successful camping trip begins months before the camping even starts.

“In my basement, I set up storage bins that hold everything I need,” he said.
In one bin, which he labels “Accessories,” he stores things like a camera, batteries, adaptor cords, a Swiss army knife and a headlamp.

“Headlamps are so superior to flashlights, because they provide hands-free lighting,” he said. “You can move branches when walking; it’s very handy.” Kids like wearing headlamps, too.

Other “accessories” include a toiletry kit, sunglasses, toothbrush, toothpaste and a few medical items, like ibuprofen, Tums and a first-aid kit.

In another bin, labeled “Kitchen,” Garneau stores a lightweight, rubberized collapsible pail, dishes and utensils. Citing their long shelf-life, he said he occasionally will store freeze-dried food in this bin as well.

In his last bin, “Clothing,” he keeps season-appropriate clothing.

“I have non-cotton pants, a wicking shirt and socks,” he said. “I don’t have to go through my closets and drawers. I’m ready to go in 10 minutes.”

Perhaps one of the most essential but easy-to-forget items is bug spray.

“It’s something you need here and ... especially places in the woods,” Liu said.

 

Gearing up

As far as camping gear goes, Garneau said modern campers possess distinct advantages over those who went camping in the past.

“We are lucky these days,” he said. “We have such a range in terms of price and quality. If it is your first time camping and you don’t want the best of the best, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for that first time.”

Sleeping bags, for instance, should not necessarily comprise a big part of your budget, especially for kids.

“Kids grow so fast,” he said. “We carry inexpensive sleeping bags. It’s silly if you spend too much.”

Of course, if you do spend more on any kind of camping gear, you can expect better quality. He cited The North Face and Harman as two brands that put out products constructed with “real quality.”

“You pay for it, but the products are much lighter and withstand the rain much better,” he said. “If you plan on camping more, they can be a good investment.”

 

Campfire cooking

Whether you go RVing, go tenting, or set up camp in a cabin, the odds are that you will end up cooking outside over a grill or firepit at some point. Ferrigno said the key is to keep it simple.

“Hot dogs and kabobs are great things to cook over the grill and they are really easy,” she said.

According to Infantine, what to cook is largely determined by your method of camping.
“If you have a trailer, you can bring more items with you — you can definitely bring things to grill and barbecue,” she said. “For tents, there isn’t too much room except in a cooler, so you need to be mindful of that.”

For those who like to add a little bit of flavor to their food, Garneau said he brings a basic spice kit, which is composed of salt, pepper, garlic powder and seasoning salt.
He said he also uses fresh vegetables and adds them to many of his dishes. Some of his favorite vegetables include carrots, broccoli and onions. Instant mashed potatoes are another favorite, as is fish in a pouch and burritos.

“I love to make burrito wraps,” he said. “Add some dried beans, instant rice, and cheese to shave on there with my Swiss army knife. Everything tastes a little bit better when you’re out in the fresh air.”

For breakfast, Garneau said dried milk with granola is a staple along with oatmeal and Cream of Wheat, which he flavors with raisins or dried fruit.

“The nice thing with oats is that they do not have to be cooked,” he said. “You can eat it cold and add a little bit of water.”

He cited Seacoast-based company Good To-Go as another option for those who want to maintain a level of sophistication with their camping meals.

“They are based right out of Kittery and they dehydrate their foods and package them right there,” he said. “Their food is somewhere in between freeze-dried food and grocery store shopping — it’s instant convenience. They use really good ingredients and the food is really delicious.”

 

Seacoast-area campgrounds

Here’s a list of a few Seacoast-area (and some slightly more inland) campgrounds offering everything from tent camping to cabin rentals.

Beach Rose RV Park
Where: 147 Beach Road (Route 1A) Salisbury
When it’s open: April 1 to Nov. 1
What it offers: Just a half mile from the Atlantic Ocean, this 50-site park has both shaded and sunny spots. Tenting is not allowed. Amenities include:
Full hook-ups
Gated community
20/30/50-amp service
Paved roads
Cement pads
Modern restrooms
Sewer, water, electric and wi-fi
Free cable
New one-acre nature path for you and your dog
Cost: Daily rates range from $45 to $65 depending on dates
How to rent a site: Visit beachroservpark.com or call 800-382-2230

Exeter Elms Campground
Where: 190 Court St. (Route 108) Exeter
When it’s open: May 1 to Oct. 10
What it offers: Exeter Elms Campground features a mile of river frontage on the Exeter River for fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Features well-spaced, wooded campsites and clean, modern facilities. There are tent sites, RV sites and rustic and full cabins. It is located 15 minutes from Hampton Beach. Amenities include:
Pool (hours 8 a.m. to dusk)
2 restrooms
Laundry
Pavilion
Picnic tables
Fire pits
Dump station
Convenience store
Pet-friendly
Free wi-fi (limited areas)
Playground
Renting golf carts
New playground
Cost: Prices start at $35 for a tent site without electricity. RV sites range from $45 to $55. Cabin rentals range from $90 for a rustic cabin to $130 for a full cabin.
How to rent a site: Visit exeterelms.com or call 866-778-7631

Ferndale Acres Campground
Where: 130 Wednesday Hill Road, Lee
When it’s open: May 15 to Sept. 15
What it offers: 150 sites, each equipped with electricity, water, fireplaces and picnic tables. Amenities include:
Large sites with 3-way hookups
Some 50-amp sites available (currently updating the entire campground)
Planned events & weekend activities
Minutes from 3 racetracks
Campground store with full line of supplies
Restrooms, hot Showers & laundry facilities
Fishing, canoeing, swimming
Playground area & basketball court
Horseshoes & cornhole
Baseball & volleyball
Game room / arcade
Large in-ground pool
Wi-fi hotspot
Cost: $40 daily, $260 weekly, $850 monthly (with additional fees for extra children); seasonal sites are $2,500 without cable or $2,675 with cable
How to rent a site: Visit ferndaleacrescampground.com or call 603-659-5082

The Green Gate Campground
Where: 185 Court St., Exeter
When it’s open: Open May 1 to Oct. 1
What It Offers: The Green Gate is a family campground that has been operation since 1964 and features more than 100 shaded sites, including tent and RV sites. Cabin rentals are also available. Amenities include:
Newly renovated restrooms
Picnic tables
Fire pits
Expanded playground
Pool
Laundry
Convenience store
Pet-friendly
Free wi-fi
Game room
Banquet hall
Cost: Tent sites are $45 per night or $270 per week; trailer sites range from $45 per night or $270 per week to $59 per night or $354 per week. Pull-thru sites are $57 per night or $342 per week and cabin sites are $99 per night or $594 per week.
How to rent a site: Visit thegreengatecampground.com or call 603-772-2100.

Pawtuckaway State Park
Where: 7 Pawtuckaway Road, Nottingham
When it’s open: May 1 to Oct. 31
What it offers: Pawtuckaway State Park Campground is on the shore of Pawtuckaway Lake. The 192 sites are wooded and many provide views of the lake. Each campsite has an open fire ring, picnic table, flat areas for a tent and a parking space. The bathhouses are equipped with running water, flush toilets and 24-hour showers. There are no hookups at any of the campsites. Five cabins are available; each sleeps six people, has electricity, and includes a fire ring and picnic table.
Cost: Fees for campsites cover two adults and are $25 on Big Island inland sites and $30 on all other sites. There is a $10 fee per night for each extra adult. Campsites are limited to five adults, except on designated family campsites and in cabins. Cabins are $65 per night.
How to rent a site: Visit nhstateparks.org or call 603-895-3031
More campgrounds on p. 16.

Sea Coast Camping and RV Resort
Where: 115 Lafayette Road, North Hampton
When it’s open: May 15 to Oct. 1
What it offers: Just 8 miles from Portsmouth and 13 miles from Newburyport, this campground is perfectly situated to all major Seacoast attractions and also features tent camping. There are 158 RV sites, 69 with full hookups for RVs and travel trailers (30-amp), 9 full hookups (50-amp), 27 sites with water and electricity, 25 sites with 20-amp electric service. There are 28 basic tent sites (no water or electricity). Amenities include:
Grassy and shaded environment
Two bathhouses with metered showers
A large, well-equipped game room
A delightful playground area
A camp store furnishing essentials
A fire ring and picnic table on all tent sites (by request for full hookup sites)
Costs: Daily fees range from $38 (basic, no hookup) to $46 (full hookup, 50-amp); weekly fees range from $228 to $276; and monthly fees range from $960 to $1,104. Seasonal sites are $3,000.
How to rent a site: Visit seacoastcamping.com or call 603-964-5730

Tidewater Campground
Where: 160 Lafayette Road, Hampton
When it’s open: Mid-May to mid-October
What it offers: Tidewater is the closest campground to Hampton Beach with tent sites, RV sites and seasonal camping. Amenities include:
Picnic tables and fireplaces
Large fenced children’s playground
Horseshoe pits
Swimming pool
Wood available
Large playing field
Cost: Daily rates range from $41 (no electric) to $49 (electric, water and sewer); weekly rates range from $245 to $300 and seasonal rates range from $775 to $1,050
How to rent a site: Visit tidewatercampgroundnh.com or call 603-926-5474

Twin Brooks Campground
Where: 211 Lower Collins St., Seabrook
When it’s open: May 15 to Oct. 1
What it offers: This campground is for seasonal RV rental sites only. Amenities include:
The road is paved and sites have crushed stone
Town sewer and water
Sites that can take larger trailers with slides and sites that can take smaller trailers without slides
Laundry available
One mile from Seabrook Beach and two miles from Salisbury and Hampton beaches
Close to shopping areas
Cost: Seasonal only, $2,500
How to rent a site: Visit twinbrookscampground.biz or call 603-474-5163

Wakeda Campground
Where: 294 Exeter Road, Hampton Falls
When it’s open: May 15 to Oct. 1
What it Offers: Nestled in the pines only eight miles from Hampton Beach and a mile off the road surrounded by woods, Wakeda first opened its woods to campers in 1965 and is owned and operated by three generations of the Savage family. Amenities include:
Free wi-fi hotspot
Ice cream available daily; “Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundaes” Saturday nights
Satellite television
Lounge/reading area
Pool table
Sunday morning pancake breakfasts (weather permitting)
Air hockey
Arcade games
18-hole miniature golf
Fully equipped playground
Half-court basketball
Horseshoes
Cost: Daily rates range from $41 (no hook-ups) to $54 (pull-through). Cabins are $90 per day.
How to rent a site: Visit wakedacampground.com or call 603-772-5274

The 17th Annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic Returns!

17th Annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic

June 15-17, 2017

Art in the form of massive yet intricate sand sculptures returned to Hampton Beach for the 17th annual Master Sand Sculpting Classic. It’s one of the great traditions of living in New Hampshire! The prep kicked off on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 when 200 tons of imported sand was dropped on Hampton Beach and the “Grady Bunch” started pounding up the sponsor site. Greg Grady, event founder, and “The Grady Bunch” built a mammoth Sand Demo Site for the competition.

Sand sculptors from all over the world fly in for the event, which took place Thursday, June 15, through Saturday, June 17. But things shape up days before the sculptors begin their individual pieces, when tons of sand get dumped on the beach for the occasion. All of the participating sculptors committed to a day of work at the sand demo site before the big event got underway.

“It brings museum-quality sculptures to the beach,” event founder and organizer Greg Grady said. “A lot of people that come to Hampton Beach have never even been to a museum.”

After the sponsor site was created on that same Wednesday, they began working on the next challenge; The Solo Competition with about $15,000 in prizes and entry awards.

“The competition has such a good name in the way that Hampton treats the sculptors,” Grady said. “We treat the sculptors well so they want to come back.” He noted one example, Michel Lepire — one of the driving forces behind Quebec’s ice festival — who will be returning to the competition for his 17th year.

A sculptor himself, Grady started this competition 17 years ago, asking fellow sculptors to come to Hampton Beach to get it running. Most of the sculptors had never even heard of Hampton Beach. Grady said that since then, the Hampton Beach community has probably become the sculptors’ favorite part of the whole event.

Even with a number of veterans, Grady ensures that the sculptures are always diverse and fresh, in part by making room for new sculptors to enter the competition each year. But even with returning sculptors, the themes of the art evolve.

“It’s just like anything else in life. Things come and go,” Grady said. A total of $15,000 will be awarded to sculptors at the competition. According to Grady, the “wow factor” of the sculpture is a big part of the winning criteria for him.

“What really blows me away are the new things that they come up with every year,” Grady shared. “We don’t see the same thing every year.” According to Grady, there are only about 200 to 300 established sand sculptors in the world, but the profession can be lucrative once you develop the necessary skills.

Sand sculpting involves a lot of traveling, which makes it difficult for many people. The Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic is a convenient event for established sculptors to scope out new artists with potential, and viewers have the opportunity to sign up for lessons with the professionals.

“You work the way up the ladder just like anything else,” Grady said about beginning sculptors.

There was 13 professional sculptors in total at the event. Ten sculptors competed, and some will just be giving lessons. Grady said that they expect to have about 100,000 spectators on the weekend the sculptures first go up. Since this event is free to all, it provides art for all walks of life.

Although the event does involve competition, Grady emphasizes fun for the community above all else. “People really appreciate the event,” Grady said. “You can just tell by seeing people’s faces and hearing their comments.”

Funding for the awards comes from sponsorship by the Hampton Beach Village District. The competition also has other platinum and gold sponsors, which include local businesses. Because of these sponsors, sculptors will be awarded $3,000 for first place, $2,500 for second, $2,000 for third, $1,500 for fourth and $1,000 for fifth place. Grady will serve as the head judge for these competitions. The People’s Choice winner will be awarded $500.

Now the part you’ve been waiting for, the winners!