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Sculptors head to beach on sunny Saturday

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CANTON - Turtles, dogs and dolphins were created at Taylor Park in the first amateur sand sculpting competition on Saturday.

“We’re always looking for something new to try each summer,” said Canton Recreation Director John S. Taillon. “This is a great way to get people out.”

The Canton Highway Department brought in several large piles of sand just for the event. Five teams tried their hand at sculpting, three in the children under 12 category, and two teams going head-to-head in the adult category.

Participants received cash prizes, provided by Village Trustee Mary Ann Ashley.

“What beats a day at the beach and the opportunity to win some cash?” asked John S. Mikolay of Waddington.

Mr. Mikolay and his team were competing in the adult category. They created a dog licking up a spilled (and very sandy) ice-cream cone.

The competition began at 11:30 a.m. and continued for two hours.

“We decided to give it a try. It’s a really nice day out,” Hannah S. Harvester said.

Her team worked to form a giant turtle. They spent their first 45 minutes just creating a mound of sand large enough to sculpt their creation.

Mr. Taillon and Ms. Ashley judged the teams based on creativity, technical difficulty and other factors. The original intention was to have 10 teams - five for each event, but Mr. Taillon said the turnout was fine for a first run.

“We’re very happy with that, being a first year,” he said.

The dog with the ice-cream cone took home first prize, $150, while the giant turtle scored its creators $75.

Some of the sculptures came complete with their own story lines.

Xiomara Oey-Langen, 10, and her brother, Danilo T. Oey-Langen, 7, created a giant snake, complete with a “pit of doom” where villagers from a nearby sand village could be thrown. Their creation netted them $75 for second prize in the children’s category.

Gavin D. Matthews, 8, dug a pit in the sand and used a hose to fill up a pond. He built a small sand “museum” next to it.

“I just wanted to have fun,” Gavin said. He won $25 for third prize.

Josh J. Mikolay, 12, and his team brought home the $150 first prize in the children’s category for sculpting a sea turtle, complete with its nest, alongside a dolphin and a hermit crab.

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