Sandcastles pretty much never stop being cool, am I right?
At least that’s what I was raised to believe—I didn’t say building your own sandcastle; I just said sandcastles. This is proven by Port Aransas, TX—a seemingly unremarkable Texas beach. I mean sure, the Gulf of Mexico provides somewhat…shall we say murky waters and its coast is anything but “powder white sand”…but Port A has its own charms! Sandfest is one of those charms.
Every April, international sand sculptors from all over travel to “that tiny beach next to Corpus Christi” and they create pure magic. Masterpieces like these:
I used to go every year as a kid, and honestly, I have had more fun the older I get. I think that the art is more meaningful now. At this age, I feel like I can fully appreciate the sculptures. Don’t get me wrong—kids are just as enchanted. But I remember seeing them and just being blown away that there was a castle in front of me, ten times my size, made completely of sand. Whereas this year, I found myself in all kinds of psychological debates about the possible meanings and messages. Seriously, ponder over these for a while:
My high school self (who still lives inside of me, and definitely comes out during Sandfest) requires that I buy a toe ring from Ring Around the Toesies. I am not ashamed: I like foot bling and the sterling silver bands are sized to fit perfectly, so they never fall off! Ring Around the Toesies isn’t the only vendor perched under a tent next to the weekend sculpting competition—there’s truly something for everyone. From handcrafted jewelry and furniture to clothes, hammocks, and cigars, the beach shopping seems endless.
My favorite find this year was a mini-garden, complete with a tiny gnome.
And the food, oh my goodness, the food. Think carnival treats mixed with coastline delights—funnel cakes, turkey legs, AND seafood. To top it all off, live local music blends with the sounds of the waves all day.
Even if the weather is less than ideal (late April usually isn’t the sunniest of times), Sandfest is pure bliss for the young and old, locals and tourists. Whether you’re building a campfire, lounging by your condo’s pool or hot tub, relaxing on your balcony, braving into the chilly ocean, riding around in one of the popular, colorful golf carts that you can rent, or just strolling through the sandcastles, you will have a blast.
You can even sign up to compete in the amateur sculpting division, if you’re interested in some sand fame.
Finally, it would be wrong of me not to mention Winton’s, the local candy shop known for their “Good”. On your way to the ferry, stop into this eclectic sweet tooth heaven and fill up a bag or two with desserts for your drive home.
So start planning now for next April—hotel rooms fill up fast! In the meantime, head to Port A this summer to practice your sandcastle skills!
By Alysha Kaye