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Video: Virginia Beach Neptune Festival brings in 475 tons sand for annual sandsculpting competition

The event's Facebook page has shared videos of organizers bringing in piles of sand, building walkways and pumping water into a giant tent on the Oceanfront.
Credit: Virginia Beach Neptune Festival Facebook
Virginia Beach Neptune Festival gears up for sandsculpting competition, 2022

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach's Neptune Festival is gearing up for one of its most iconic annual events: sandsculpting!

Throughout the week, the event's Facebook page has shared videos of organizers bringing in piles of sand and pumping water into a giant tent on the Oceanfront.

Machines hauled in 475 tons of sand for the competition. The individual sculptors get 16 tons each, and teams of two get 24 tons each.

The setup order goes like this: sand piles, packed walkways, then running water.

"While the sculptors are en route to Virginia Beach from around the world, walkways will be put in place so everyone can enjoy the beautiful artwork up close - whether you're pushing a stroller or using a wheelchair - you'll be safe on the sand!" one post says.

The water is just as important.

Water is the only binding agent the sand sculptors use, and it also helps create fine details that make the sculptures so beautiful.

"It especially helps in the 'pound up' phase that starts on Monday - this is when the sculptors try to eliminate as much air from between the grains of sand as possible before sculpting begins," organizers wrote.

If you're hoping to catch the finished work, you can visit the tent between Sept. 30 and Oct. 9. There is a $7 entry fee for adults.

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