OCEANSIDE — This year the Harbor Days celebration added its first sandcastle building contest to the two days of fun that celebrate the opening of Oceanside Harbor.
The sandcastle building contest was held on Harbor Beach Sept. 28.
Teams met up at 9 a.m. with buckets and shovels to review building plans and get their 10-foot-by-10-foot plot assignment.
Sandcastle building started at 10 a.m. Teams were given three hours to complete their sandcastles.
“They can create anything as large as they want,” Kristi Hawthorne, Oceanside Chamber of Commerce events coordinator, said.
The theme of the contest was Oceanside’s 125th anniversary.
Sandcastle builder Mike Dutton said his team used every minute of time allotted.
“At 10 o’clock we jumped in, cleaned up the square and got into it,” Dutton said.
It was not all smooth sailing for the HOCOA team that included Dutton and HOCOA home repair network owner Sam Goodwin. The original design was a 6-foot-tall lighthouse, but part way through the building process the structure collapsed and they needed to regroup and scale their design down to a 4-foot-tall lighthouse with “125 Oceanside” raked in the sand around it.
Another notable entry was team Kansas’ melting snowman.
One judge described the entry as representing the last fleeting days of summer before winter.
Team members came from Kansas for the Jacob Fish Build a Bear “Paws to the Pavement” fundraiser run held in Temecula on Sept. 30.
Jacob’s mom Stacy Fish was part of the sandcastle building team. She said her son started the nonprofit company when he was 5. Jacob is now 12, and has built and given away 680 bears to kids in need.
The Boys & Girls Club of Oceanside entered two teams in the competition. The teams were formed from kids in the Boys & Girls Club’s after school programs at South Oceanside Elementary, Roosevelt Middle School, San Luis Rey Elementary, Libby Elementary and Foussat Elementary.
Oceanside businesses donated money to the Chamber of Commerce to sponsor the Boys & Girls Club teams.
“The kids are really excited,” Alexa Morr, Boys & Girls Club marketing coordinator, said.
Morr said the competition gives boys and girls the opportunity to work as a team, create something together, participate in a city celebration, and have fun.
The morning was a flurry of digging, raking and carrying in buckets of water.
After three hours of building, time was called and three pairs of judges with clipboards in hand graded each sandcastle on originality and creativity, aesthetics, fun level of participants, reflecting the theme of Oceanside’s 125th anniversary, and using the whole plot. Each of the five categories was worth 10 points.
Final scores were tallied and a crowd gathered on the beach as Captain Jack Sparrow announced the South Oceanside Boys & Girls Club team as the winner.
The team created a sand sculpted map of Oceanside including the mission and harbor. The Boys & Girls Club team took home $125 in prize money.