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Sand Sculpting Begins in Fort Myers Beach

Fred Mallett, second from right, a master sand sculptor from Port Aransas, Tex., and site manager Suzanne Altamare, second from left, start to mold a sand pile where for the next two days a group carving will take place behind the Holiday Inn on Fort Myers Beach. The large sculpture will feature the sponsors of the 23rd annual American Sandsculpting Championship and Beach Festival in Fort Myers Beach. The event has 19 solo sculptors, 16 of whom are master sculptors, and runs through November 8. The Master Carve Competition will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the beach behind Gullwing, Holiday Inn & Pointe Estero. The first place winner secures a spot in the World Championship of Sand Sculpture in September 2010 in Federal Way, Wash. Lexey Swall/Staff

Photo by LEXEY SWALL

Fred Mallett, second from right, a master sand sculptor from Port Aransas, Tex., and site manager Suzanne Altamare, second from left, start to mold a sand pile where for the next two days a group carving will take place behind the Holiday Inn on Fort Myers Beach. The large sculpture will feature the sponsors of the 23rd annual American Sandsculpting Championship and Beach Festival in Fort Myers Beach. The event has 19 solo sculptors, 16 of whom are master sculptors, and runs through November 8. The Master Carve Competition will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the beach behind Gullwing, Holiday Inn & Pointe Estero. The first place winner secures a spot in the World Championship of Sand Sculpture in September 2010 in Federal Way, Wash. Lexey Swall/Staff

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  • Cleveland,  Ohio resident Carl Jara, a master sand sculptor and the current sand sculpting world champion, increases the height on a sand pile where for the next two days a group carving will take place. The large sculpture will feature the sponsors of the 23rd annual American Sandsculpting Championship and Beach Festival in Fort Myers Beach. The event has 19 solo sculptors, 16 of whom are master sculptors, and runs through November 8. The Master Carve Competition will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the beach behind Gullwing, Holiday Inn & Pointe Estero. The first place winner secures a spot in the World Championship of Sand Sculpture in September 2010 in Federal Way, Wash. Lexey Swall/Staff
  • Fred Mallett, foreground, a master sand sculptor from Port Aransas, Tex., starts to mold a sand pile where for the next two days a group carving will take place behind the Holiday Inn on Fort Myers Beach. The large sculpture will feature the sponsors of the 23rd annual American Sandsculpting Championship and Beach Festival in Fort Myers Beach. The event has 19 solo sculptors, 16 of whom are master sculptors, and runs through November 8. The Master Carve Competition will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the beach behind Gullwing, Holiday Inn & Pointe Estero. The first place winner secures a spot in the World Championship of Sand Sculpture in September 2010 in Federal Way, Wash. Lexey Swall/Staff
  • Site manager Suzanne Altamare holds up an illustration she created that shows what a large sand pile will end up looking like after a group sand carving event behind the Holiday Inn on Fort Myers Beach. The large sculpture will feature the sponsors of the 23rd annual American Sandsculpting Championship and Beach Festival in Fort Myers Beach. The event has 19 solo sculptors, 16 of whom are master sculptors, and runs through November 8. The Master Carve Competition will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the beach behind Gullwing, Holiday Inn & Pointe Estero. The first place winner secures a spot in the World Championship of Sand Sculpture in September 2010 in Federal Way, Wash. Lexey Swall/Staff
  • Sand sculptors, Fred Mallett, from left, Suzanne Altamare, Carl Jara and Matt Long, increase the height on a sand pile where for the next two days a group carving will take place. The large sculpture will feature the sponsors of the 23rd annual American Sandsculpting Championship and Beach Festival in Fort Myers Beach. The event has 19 solo sculptors, 16 of whom are master sculptors, and runs through November 8. The Master Carve Competition will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the beach behind Gullwing, Holiday Inn & Pointe Estero. The first place winner secures a spot in the World Championship of Sand Sculpture in September 2010 in Federal Way, Wash. Lexey Swall/Staff
  • Fred Mallett, second from right, a master sand sculptor from Port Aransas, Tex., and site manager Suzanne Altamare, second from left, start to mold a sand pile where for the next two days a group carving will take place behind the Holiday Inn on Fort Myers Beach. The large sculpture will feature the sponsors of the 23rd annual American Sandsculpting Championship and Beach Festival in Fort Myers Beach. The event has 19 solo sculptors, 16 of whom are master sculptors, and runs through November 8. The Master Carve Competition will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the beach behind Gullwing, Holiday Inn & Pointe Estero. The first place winner secures a spot in the World Championship of Sand Sculpture in September 2010 in Federal Way, Wash. Lexey Swall/Staff
  • Sue McGrew, 24, a master sculptor from Tacoma, Wash., lands in a large sand pile that will be the site of group carving for the next two days behind the Holiday Inn on Fort Myers Beach. The large sculpture will feature the sponsors of the 23rd annual American Sandsculpting Championship and Beach Festival in Fort Myers Beach. The event has 19 solo sculptors, 16 of whom are master sculptors, and runs through November 8. The Master Carve Competition will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the beach behind Gullwing, Holiday Inn & Pointe Estero. The first place winner secures a spot in the World Championship of Sand Sculpture in September 2010 in Federal Way, Wash. Lexey Swall/Staff

Nineteen sand sculptors, 16 of them Master Sculptors, will take part in the 23rd annual American Sandsculpting Championship and Beach Festival in Fort Myers Beach which began today and runs through November 8. The Master Carve Competition will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the beach behind Gullwing, Holiday Inn & Pointe Estero. The first place winner secures a spot in the World Championship of Sand Sculpture in September 2010 in Federal Way, Wash.

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