Cobourg Sandcastle Festival Is Back!

In Editor Choice, Local, Weather

The weather didn’t cooperate, but after a three year hiatus, it was great to have the Cobourg Sandcastle Festival back.

The Festival was scheduled for Saturday, August 12, 2023, but with bad weather predicted organizers switched the event to Sunday.

Six master sculptors from across Canada arrived on Friday to begin their creations along the shoreline of Lake Ontario on Victoria Beach.

Husband and wife team of Nick Blandin and Trish Carbert were the last pair working on Friday evening.

“It’s nice to do a large amount of shoveling out of the heat of the day. So this prep day is nice to guide us,” said Blandin.

As a master sculptor, Blandin said each year the sand is different.

“Depending on the storms we get and what the lake is doing, it will wash the silt in or out.”

“You can’t forecast what it’s going to do year-to-year.”

Although most adults wouldn’t think they would be touring Canada and beyond building sand castles when they were young, Blandin said his father was a brick-layer.

“And he used to take me to the job sites and he used to say, “stand in the sand pile by the mixer and don’t move. And here I am.”

Blandin said he’s been to Cobourg for over 11-years and loves coming to play in the sand.

“I’m so glad it’s going again. The pandemic was hard on everybody.”

The couples creation for the day was a giant dragon.

Over the years, Blandin said he’s adjusted to his creations being washed away with time.

‘I turn and walk away – there is another day ahead.”

Sandi “Castle” Stirling loves coming back to Cobourg and loves taking to people who come to the Cobourg Sandcastle Festival each year.

Building a approximately three metres tall, Stirling had a “collapse” or as she calls it, a “sandilanche” on Saturday morning but she quickly went into “Plan B” mode.

To get a sand castle to that height, forms are used for a base and then it’s sand, water, pack it down, sand, water, pack it down.

Then she will put a smaller form on top and continuing that process until the desired height.

“But it’s only beach sand and there are grains of sand that are very rounded so it’s like piling marbles on top of marbles and you just hope it holds together.”

Stirling along with other sculptors in Cobourg appears on the CBC show Race Against the Tide.

On Saturday there were also a number of sand piles for the amateur competition where families and groups could get together in the sand and there was also a inflatable fun park for kids. At night the day ended with the showing of The Sandlot in Victoria Park.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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