Federal Way dentist sinks teeth into veterans tribute at World Championship of Sand Sculpting | VIDEO

In this video, Federal Way dentist Michael Velling carves away on a tribute to veterans at the World Championship of Sand Sculpting. Solo and team competitions kicked off Sept. 15 as sculptors pounded sand into blocks. Sculptures will be finished by Saturday in time for judging. Entries from last week's doubles competition are also on display through Oct. 3.

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

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).

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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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