World Championship of Sand Sculpting: From classy to bizarre, first batch of finished sculptures on display | VIDEO

Don't miss the first batch of finished sculptures on display this weekend at the World Championship of Sand Sculpture in Federal Way. A total of eight entries in the doubles category will be judged Saturday. Solo and team competitions kick off Sept. 15.

These three-dimensional works of sand art are rich in detail and imagination. A creation by Latvian natives Sandis Kondrats and Uldis Zarins can best be described as a Facebook freak whose hands morph into a twisted jungle of Internet cables. Wilfred Stiger and Edith Wetering of the Netherlands carved a pair of statues connected by a bridge. Ray Villafane of Michigan teamed up with John Gowdy of Italy for a shrine-like depiction featuring a howling wolf and an American Indian chief with a weathered face. Michela Ciappini of Italy and Joris Kivits of Belgium took a classy route with an elegant woman in a sexy dress, leaning back with flowing locks of hair.

On Friday, Federal Way dentist Michael Velling began carving a veterans tribute that will stand at least 10 feet tall. Also under way is a sand bust of Oprah Winfrey.

The competition has attracted local and national media. Evening Magazine plans to feature the competition Sept. 17, and MSNBC contacted site coordinator Doc Ellis about filming a show this month.

See a video of the first batch of finished sculptures from Saturday:

Watch a video of the teams "pounding up" sand for sculpting Wednesday:

Check it out

• The World Championship of Sand Sculpting runs 9 a.m. to dusk Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Hillside Plaza parking lot, 31510 20th Ave. S. (near the Federal Way Transit Center). Follow the signs from the South 320th Street exit off Interstate 5.

• Cost is $8.50 for an adult day pass or $6.50 for seniors and children. Season and family passes are also available. Visit to learn more.

• From Sept. 15-17, the cost for members of the armed forces (active or retired) is $5 with a military ID and $5 for the military spouse (their children will be admitted free).

Click here for the latest weather forecast.

Click here to read a Mirror report on the financial impact of the World Championship of Sand Sculpting.

The schedule

• Sept. 8-11: Doubles competition. Each team of two will have six hours to pound two semi-loads of sand into forms from which to start carving. From that point, the teams will have 22 hours of time between Sept. 9-11 to finish their sculptures.

• Week of Sept. 12: Master sculptors will carve display sculptures in the gallery.

• Sept. 15-18: Solo and team competitions. Teams with an average of five members each, alongside solo competitors, will shovel and compact sand in preparation for sculpting the rest of the week.

• Sept. 18: Judging and awards ceremony. A panel of international sculptors (three American, one Swiss and one Russian) will judge the sculptures, with awards issued at an invitation-only ceremony.

• Sept. 19 to Oct. 3: Meet the masters. This is an opportunity for spectators and tour groups to meet sculptors as they work in galleries.

• Special displays: The event will feature a tribute to talk show host Oprah Winfrey as well as a tribute to military veterans, MIA/POWs and active duty personnel. The latter sculpture is associated with Rolling Thunder, a national organization dedicated to veterans' causes.

• Food and vendors will be available.

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