YARMOUTH, Maine — Albert Lucio remembers the day he picked up a skill he never thought he would.
“A friend of mine had said ‘hey there’s this big party on the beach where they build these giant sand sculptures we should go there to get free parking and meet girls.’ I did not get free parking, I did not meet girls. He didn’t even show up which was the worst part,” he laughed.
But that day he left the beach having learned something he would eventually fall in love with. Sand sculpting.
He’s traveled from Austin, Texas to Yarmouth, Maine in time for the annual Clam Festival.
This year there's a new addition: Clam Fest Sand Fest and it features game-inspired creations. Lucio was inspired by two games: Clue and the Ouija board."
"In my sculpture, participants can play the game," explained Lucio. "There are instructions on how to find the clues in the sculpture of who the murderer is, in what room, and what weapon.”
He's one of eight sculptors from all over the country and Canada who are using 60 tons of sand.
“These are all my friends. We’ve all been competing against each other. Some of us for nine years now,” said Skowhegan native, Amanda Bolduc.
Bolduc says they’re used to traveling together to compete in the sun and on the snow. She says they do this year-round simply because they love it.
Back in her home state, she’s hoping to inspire future sculptors and is sharing some pointers to get started.
“You have to find the right sand in order for it to hold together. I find that Ogunquit Beach here is amazing, Popham you can do some stuff, even Pemaquid you can do some stuff with the sand there.”
She says the biggest misconception is that artists use glue to hold it all together. She says any of these artists will tell you, it’s just a little water and a lot of sweat.
Before they start a new piece, each artist shovels and packs in 7 to 10 tons of sand.
"It should be the new Crossfit," laughed Lucio.
The sculptors are competing and have until noon Saturday. If you’re at the Clam Fest swing by to see who wins at 2 p.m.