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Bluewater Beach Fest bringing fun in the sun

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Hot, carefree beach days may still seem a long way off, but one local woman is already making big plans for fun in the sun.

The first Bluewater Beach Fest will take place the weekend of Aug. 23 and 24 at Canatara Park and everyone is invited.

Professional sand sculptors are booked to spend three days making a giant sand sculpture at the west end of the beach.

A sand sculpture competition for amateur teams, live music at the bandshell, demonstrations, food and shopping vendors at the beachside pavilion will round out Beach Fest, said organizer Ashley Tanguay.

“We’re also sneaking in a little education about the ecosystem in the park,” she said.

She came up with the idea after visiting cities that host similar events on their waterfront.

“We have much nicer beaches than a lot of communities and I don’t feel we do enough with them,” she said. “I wanted to host a free community event to showcase our city and its beachfront.”

Tanguay, 25, is an event co-ordinator who owns her own business called Memorable Moments in downtown Sarnia.  She estimates it will cost more than $20,000 to put on Bluewater Beach Fest, including $12,000 to pay four professional sculptors.

“I think we can get 10,000 people out to the first festival,” she said. “And I hope it will become an annual event.

“You either do it right the first time or you don’t do it at all.”

Pro sand sculptors are similar to the snow sculptors who come to Sarnia’s Snowfest each winter. They use forms to pack sand down before starting their works of art.

Like snow sculptors, sand sculptors travel all over the world to compete, although the first Bluewater Beach Fest won’t have a professional competition. Instead it will showcase one huge, professionally made sand sculpture.

Tanguay is still hoping to land a few sponsors for her event and she needs to recruit about 25 volunteers and a few local bands for the weekend.

For more information, call Tanguay at 519-328-4041.

– Cathy Dobson

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