Sand sculpting competition returns to Federal Way

Federal Way’s sand sculpting competition is back in 2012, with a new name and new location.

Now known as The Northwest Sand Festival (NWSF), this event will bring some of the world’s premier sand sculpting artists to The Commons parking lot from Aug. 16 to Sept. 3.

The festival runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and youth (ages 5 to 17), and free for children 4 and under. A festival pass for all 19 days of competition is $25.

Special events, consisting of live music, food and beer gardens will be held throughout the event, with most of those special events taking place Thursday through Sunday. Also available to festival-goers throughout the event will be a giant sandbox for children to play in, daily sand sculpting lessons from the artists themselves and Quick Sand, a timed competition among the sculptors that will take place during afternoons.

Another activity that will run the breadth of the competition is Flying Colors, where master sculptor and painter John Gowdy spins a large canvas and throws paint at the canvas as it spins. Finally, the opportunity for festival-goers to have personalized pictures with some of the sand sculptures will be available.

The NWSF is sponsored by King County 4Culture, Woodstone Credit Union, Summers Chiropractic, Best Western, The Federal Way Mirror, Cafe Pacific Catering, and Sand Events LLC. The City of Federal Way is also a prime sponsor of the event, and contributed $23,000 to the event from the city’s lodging tax fund.

Nearly 11,000 people attended the 2011 Sand Sculpting Tour of Champions, which ran Aug. 18 to Sept. 5 at the former Toys ‘R’ Us parking lot on 20th Avenue South. The World Championship of Sand Sculpting came to Federal Way in 2010 after spending nearly 20 years in Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.  The 2010 competition attracted 19,848 paying guests.

Learn more/discount days

For more information, visit Check the site for discount days, including free admission on opening day.

• Opening Day, Aug. 16: Admission Free for All Visitors

• Mon., Aug. 20: $2 off adult admission

• Tues., Aug. 21: $2 off adult admission for Federal Way residents (ID required)

• Wed., Aug. 22: Senior Day, $5 adult admission

• Mon., Aug. 27: $2 off adult admission

• Tue., Aug. 28: Service Club Day, $2 off adult admission

• Wed., Aug. 29: Military Appreciation Day, $5 adult admission with active Military ID


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