Families, kids, participate in annual sand castle festival; Onslows Van Gestels place second in family category
MALAGASH - Blue Sea Beach was filled with buckets and shovels Sunday as boys, girls, men and women took to the sand to show off their artistic flair.
Under the looming clouds, the Van Gestel family from Onslow made their second trip to the beach to participate in the Sand Castle Festival, this year dubbing their creation the 'dragon slayer.'
"We've done little creations while just puttering around on the beach before but nothing big scale like this," said mom Joan while her husband, Frank, and kids, Anthony, Leah and Rachel, worked in the sand.
Frank and Rachel worked away on the knight resting against the dragon after just slaying it, while Anthony and Leah worked on one of the dragon's legs. Joan had the task of working on the head.
"We were here last year after hearing about it on the radio," Joan said, adding the family last year created a dragon mother and her babies.
"We really like dragons," Leah yelled from the sand.
It wasn't until the drive to the beach from the cottage the family had rented in Brule that the Van Gestel's made the decision on what to create this year.
Close to the dragon slayer were a group of four friends that decided to create a transfer truck.
"We had thought about Optimus Prime from the Transformers first, but changed our mind," said Johnny Reid while looking at the truck that he, Dave Rafuse, Corey Langille and Taryn McKay were working on.
While many children spend time on the beach building castles, Rafuse couldn't remember ever having built anything in the sand.
"I think this is my first time ever," he said.
Having anticipated a day at the beach, the Conrads had building toys to play with, however they didn't know the festival was taking place until arriving at the beach.
"Our three-year-old son, Sam, first noticed the sand castle competition was going on," said Cathy.
For four hours, the West Pennant family of four worked together to build their castle, complete with a moat, lake and island.
Sam and his father took a walk to the water to find a hermit crab to add to the lake.
"Hopefully the water will stay in there for a little while, but we're not sure," said Cathy.
For her oldest son, Jakob, the castle was the biggest the eight-year-old has made.
"It's fun," he said. "I just like building castles to see what's going to happen."
When the time was on the sand creations, it was Jessica, Patrick, Connie and Gunter Lebmann's "Dancing Dolphin's Ocean Spirit" that captured first place in the family category.
The Van Gestel's placed second, while Annie, Alex, Tia and Adele Beal rounded out the top three with World Peace.
Kristi Fage, and Katie and Alex Scott, placed first with Mr. Hermit Crab in the teen category, followed by an anonymous group creating Castle on the Beach.
In the 12 and under category, Chy-anne Stillman and Caitlin and Brook Loughridge's Under the Sea creation came first, followed by Black Stallion by Maggie and Robin Dewar and Baillie Gardner, while Bradley MacPherson's Sea Couch claimed third.
Wetlands Engineering and Construction Ltd.'s Happy Family, created by Elaine Waugh and Kathy Cress-Waugh, took top spot in the commercial category, followed by Island for Sale, a Tradewinds Reality Ltd. creation made by Graham Hutchison and Saffron Keeble-Morris.
Dennis Tattrie of Tatamagouche was the lucky winner of a one-night stay at The Cottages at Cambra Sands.