Carving Artists: As Many as 300,000 People Expected to Attend Annual Event on Revere Beach

Sand sculptors are already working away on Revere Beach this week, carving the central sculpture that will be called the ‘Castle of Lights’ and will be illuminated. Here, sculptor Jonathan ‘Jobi’ Bouchard of Montreal works on top of the castle tower as an airplane descends over the Beach.

There may not be a better way to usher in the dreamy, fantasy world of sandcastles than by staging a parade on the Boulevard with eight-foot-tall puppets. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen this week.

The Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival is ready for its official kickoff tomorrow, Thursday, though many sculptors have been hard at work already this week and attracting quite a crowd on the Beach.

Ernie Garneau, executive director of the Revere Beach Partnership, confirmed on Monday that Thursday’s kickoff ceremony on Revere Beach will begin with a gigantic puppet parade led by Revere 1st’s Rose Napolitano. The parade of puppets – some as tall as eight feet – will begin at 6:30 p.m. on the Boulevard.

There will be presentations and a short speaking program to kick off the festivities, including words by House Speaker Bob DeLeo. That will be followed by a movie screening on Revere Beach.

While that will be the official beginning to the weekend of fun, sculpting sand arrived on the Beach last Friday and sculptors were already very busy carving the central sculpture at the beginning of this week.

That popular central sculpture will be titled ‘Castle of Lights’ and it will incorporate strings of Christmas lights into the giant, 20-foot tall towering castle.

The castle will be illuminated by the lights from within and will provide observers an opportunity to enter inside the sculpture and to stand in the doorway of the castle or stand on one of the towers for a photo opportunity.

Several master sculptors – including last year’s winner Jonathan ‘Jobi’ Bouchard – have already arrived and are carving away. Hometown competitors Matt Martelli and Deb Cutulle are also already on scene, as is Sanding Ovations – run by long-time Revere competitors Meredith Corson and Dan Doubleday.

Partnership President Adrienne Maguire said that all of the sculptors arrived on site Tuesday and that they would be working on the central site until starting their own sculptures on Wednesday morning.

They will be working on those creations Wednesday – doing the preliminary sand “pound up.” Sculptors will work throughout the day from Wednesday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At the end of the day on Saturday, there will be an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. followed by fireworks on the Beach at 9 p.m.

There will be 10 competitors in this year’s competition that will compete for a $5,000 first prize. Second place will receive $4,000, third place $3,000 and $1,000 for the People’s Choice Award.

Some of the many changes this year will be an antique carousel on Revere Beach Boulevard and live entertainment every day at the Bandstand from noon to 4 p.m.

There will also be several new vendors in three tents, including Kelly’s on the Beach and the Bagel Bin. There will also be a Children’s Village, a Community Village and a Learning Center – all under tents.

Organizers are expecting a record crowd estimated at 300,000 visitors over the weekend period. The weather is predicted to be clear and hot, perhaps bolstering crowds at the Beach.

This year Conventures Inc. of Boston is conducting the public relations.

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