Turtle, walrus and more emerge from the sand at annual contest

Sometimes Mother Nature just doesn’t cooperate.

Valerie Intelisano, one of the organizers of the annual Milford Fine Art’s Council’s sand sculpture contest, just doesn’t let that get to her.

Last year, the tide came in much earlier than it expected, wiping out sand sculptures prematurely.

This year, it took longer for the tide to go out, meaning sculptors had to wait an hour before starting their masterpieces in the sand.


“Of course not,” Intelisano said as she sat at a tent-covered table, a list of entries in front of her. “There’s only happiness here. People are having fun.”

Saturday morning’s rain didn’t dissuade participants from heading to the beach. Intelisano said there were as many entries as usual.

Lou Daviau drove 2.5 hours from Massachusetts to enter the competition.

Daviau was one of a handful of entrants who realized the tide was being a little difficult this year and opted to sculpt his sand creation higher up on the beach, much farther from the water line than is typical for the annual contest.

“Some people moved up and found ways to carry water up with them,” Intelisano said, noting that wet sand is rather important to this art.

Daviau is a salesman, but in his spare time, he likes to sculpt in the sand. He only sculpts female figures, and has done many on the shores of Puerto Rico, he said.

“This is my fun,” he said. “This is how I relax.”

And that was his first competition.

As time went by Saturday and the tide moved out, people made their way to the wet sand with shovels, pails, rakes and other tools. Over the next few hours, there emerged a turtle, soccer goal, horses, Poseidon, a sea creature band and more.

Jaimie McCarvill said she and her family showed up early, and waited under a canopy for the rain to stop. Then they waited for the tide to reach its low point. “We just waited,” she said, pointing out that the family has been entering the contest for several years and wasn’t going to let tricky weather dampen their plans.

By 2 p.m., they were busy creating Pellican Piling. Judging had been moved from the scheduled 3 p.m. to 4 to give entrants time to finish.

The Warzel and Wissner families, also event regulars, were building Poseidon, which included the face of the god and a horse. The team explained that Poseidon created the first horse to impress the Goddess Demeter.

Ron Baldwin from Shelton was working with a number of friends, creating Marine Band, a group of sea creatures playing various instruments. When Baldwin saw rain Saturday morning when he woke up, he thought the sand sculpting competition would be canceled. But he checked and was happy to find it was still on.

“So I called people, got a group together, and it’s a perfect day,” Baldwin said.

Following are the first place winners in the Milford Fine Arts Council’s annual sand sculpture contest, held this past Saturday:

10 and under Individual

First:   Lighting McQueen, Luca Rizzo, Shelton, CT

11-16 Individual

First: Let Surfing Dogs Arrive

 17 and Over

First:   “Sea Horses”, Christine Moccia, Orange, CT


First:  Cutie Catfish, Delaney Family, Milford, CT

Friends and Clubs

First:  Posiden’s  Trident, The Warzel Friends, Milford, CT

Best In Show

Marine Band, Ron Baldwin, Shelton, CT

People’s Choice Award:

Posiden’s Trident, The Warzel Friends, Milford