Salt River Fields to host first-ever Arizona sand-sculpting contest


Salt River Fields

Salt River Fields will host the first sand-sculpting competition ever held in Arizona —  “World’s Best Sand-Sculpting Championship Presented by Talking Stick Destination,” a family-friendly two-day beach themed festival, from noon to 8 p.m. Dec. 12-13.

Ten world-class artists will begin to design and build one-of-a-kind sand sculptures on Saturday and carve live until 5 p.m. Sunday.

Salt River FieldsThe general public will be able to cast their vote for the People’s Choice award while the artists apply the finishing touches to their creations, which will range from 10 to 20 feet in length.

Artists will compete for a $19,000 purse, and the sculptures will be judged with the winner announced Sunday evening.

“Only in Arizona can you have a beach bash in the middle of winter,” said Dave Dunne, general manager, Salt River Fields.

“Where else than in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona, can you plan a family photo with Santa, and be awed by amazingly creative sand sculptures.  It can only happen in the middle of the Sonoran desert, and we’re excited it’s happening here at Talking Stick.”

The two-day event also will feature beach-themed live entertainment , food, holiday vendors to top off seasonal shopping lists, free sandcastle lessons taught by Andy Hancock from Sandcastle Lessons, and photos with Santa Claus as he stops by on his last few days of vacation and much more.

The sand sculpting competition is organized by multimedia artist Sean Fitzpatrick from Fitzy Snowman Sculpting.

General admission tickets are $12; children 2 and under are free. Tickets are available at

Salt River Fields is located at 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale.

The Talking Stick Destination is home to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Talking Stick Resort, Talking Stick Golf Club, the Pavilions at Talking Stick, Octane Raceway, Topgolf, Butterfly Wonderland, Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River and OdySea Aquarium, opening Summer 2016.

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