One of 10 dynamic events held throughout 2014 to commemorate Mission Beach’s centennial, guests are invited to two sandcastle-building sessions to be held a 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in front of Belmont Park at 3146 Mission Blvd.
Thus far, the centennial celebration has featured a monument and plaque dedication, a classic car show and a viewing of the movie “Jaws.”
Yet to come is a volleyball/horseshoes beachfest in early September. The yearlong celebration culminates Sept. 27 with a Centennial Festival at Belmont Park/Ventura Place.
Next up on Aug. 17 is “How to Build a Sandcastle,” where San Diegans can learn from the pros: the Travel Channel’s “Sand Masters.”
Participants will take instruction from Rusty Croft, a professional sand sculptor who has worked with an international sand team.
Croft’s professional sand sculpting career began in San Diego in 1997, where he worked with an international sand team creating a world record-setting sculpture, “The Lost City of Atlantis.” He has since been invited to sculpt in more than 15 different countries.
“People don’t want us to be finished,” said Croft of his work and that of his colleagues. “It’s an enchanting, fun medium.”
Croft said the art form has natural appeal.
“People are instantly engaged in it,” he said. “They can relate to it.”
On Aug. 17 in Mission Beach, Croft said he’ll be teaching would-be builders “everything they need to know to make a world-class sand sculpture.”
He offered a couple construction tips.
“The key element is water. You really can’t have too much,” Croft said. “If you’re ever having trouble with your sculpture or it’s failing, stop and add more water.”
Croft said the most basic way to start is to fill a bucket full of sand and water and just “take big handfuls and hand stack it, plop it down, over and over. You can make towers, arches and walls.”
With sand sculpturing, Croft said the best way to carve is to “start at the top and work your way to the bottom.”
Tools used can be as simple as stainless steel kitchenware. You can even use a straw to “blow out the crumbs,” he said.
“The most important thing is just to have fun and take your time,” Croft said.
Croft noted that putting in light-dark contrasts using details like stairs and structures like towers, adds definition, interest and intrigue to the sculpture.
“The deeper and darker you make it, the better it gets,” Croft said.
Croft is now the co-owner of Sand Guys, based in Carmel. He works for the “Silicon Valley elite” creating sand sculptures for the likes of Yahoo, Google and Facebook. He has been on “Good Morning America” and featured in national publications like Sunset, Phoenix Home and Garden, and American Lifestyles Magazine. Croft is currently the host of the Travel Channel’s new hit show, “Sand Masters.”
The origin of Mission Beach dates to June 14, 1914, when a syndicate headed by John D. Spreckels and managed by George S. Barney submitted a subdivision map surveyed by D.A. Loebenstein to the Common Council (now known as the City Council) of San Diego for approval. On Dec. 14, 1914, the first official map of Mission Beach was signed and adopted.
For more information about the centennial celebration and individual events, visit www.missionbeachcentennial.org.