VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- With Hurricane Matthew expected to bring high winds to the Hampton Roads area later this week, people with the Neptune Festival made the call to close Neptune’s International Sandsculpting Championship venue, The Land of Sand, Tuesday morning.

It originally was scheduled to remain open through October 9.

The early closure will allow workers time to time to remove the 30,000 square foot tent that encloses the site.

Measuring 300 feet long by 100 feet wide, it will take workers as many as four days to dismantle the tent. They also have to remove 10,000 feet of wooden walkways and other features of the display.

“It was a disappointing and difficult decision,” says Nancy Creech, president of the festival, “but the sheer size of the structure and all that is involved to remove it from the beach make it impossible to delay a decision when a storm of this size and magnitude could potentially be affecting our coast by the weekend.”