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  1. John C

    [@JonE] I’m not sure if there is any kind of prize, other than public recognition for the work, but each year all visitors to the exhibition are given the opportunity to vote for their favourite sculptures. Last year (2012) the “winners” were the sculptures of Johnny Depp and Bob Marley. The news was posted on ThePortugalNews (English language) website.

  2. K Lewis

    I love sand castles and this is awsome! The summer version of ice sculpting.

    Did you know that in these US states that some beaches have outlawed building sand castles? That was all part of experiencing the beach when I was a kid and watching the tide swipe it all away.

  3. John C

    Actually this photo was taken in 2008 at FIESA (Festival Internacional de EScultura em Areia – International Sand Sculpture Festival), held every year near the village of Pêra, Algarve, Portugal.

    The official website is (they have an English translation too), but other (larger) photos (including the one above) can be found here:

    The sculptures themselves don’t use anything to maintain their shape – it’s just a property of the local sand which, once wetted, is extremely easy to mould. After it dries again it maintains its shape, even during rain (although some of the sculptures do occasionally suffer small “accidents” when it rains hard :-)

    The exhibition usually runs from around May to October every year, attracting artists from all over the world.

    For anybody that’s interested, you can see some of *my* photos (FIESA 2008, including the Simpsons but from a different angle), and FIESA 2012 (not all, I need to dig out the rest! :-):

    FIESA 2008:

    FIESA 2012: