Milford Arts Council preps for 45th sand sculpture contest

MILFORD — The longest-running event for the Milford Arts Council is returning for its 45th year.

The Annual Sand Sculpture Contest at Walnut Beach is happening on Aug. 6, and Paige Miglio, the MAC executive director, said it would happen rain or shine.

“We are excited for this one because this is the first time in a while that we are doing this event 100 percent in-person,” she said.

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has been virtual with participants sending in photos of their sand sculptures. Last year, Miglio said, due to weather, organizers decided to do it virtually.

“We’ve never canceled an event because of weather prediction,” she said. “So I want to promise everyone that it won’t happen again.”

The sand sculpture event has been one of the MAC’s more popular events, with sand sculptors coming from as far as Maine to participate. This is why choosing the perfect date is important, Miglio said.

“We have to choose a date when the tide is low at noon in July or August so that only gives us one or two weekends,” she said. “People who have come yearly to build are now on their third generation of sand sculptures. People take their holiday to stay in Milford based upon this date. This is why we decided to have this a rain-or-shine event.”

There are different categories in the event, including contests for children, families, groups of friends and businesses.

“This event can be a great team-building activity for business, fantastic family picture opportunities and can create great memories for friends and family,” said Miglio. “We encourage everyone to pack a picnic, sunscreen and lots of water.”

Recently, the City of Milford has updated the parking restrictions at Walnut Beach after a large fight. Miglio noted that people attending the event should be aware of the updated restrictions.

There are two reasons why the 45th year of the contest is special. One is because it is in-person for the first time since 2019, but the other reason Miglio added is that the MAC is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

“As the executive director for nine-and-a-half years, I think it’s so exciting being part of an organization that has such history and love from the community and business partners,” said Miglio. “To be able to celebrate it, and bring even wider awareness to our events and venues, artists and performers is an honor. I want to make sure the organization continues to strengthen and grow in future years.”