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Ocean Park sand sculpture contest is heaps of family fun

Ocean Park sand sculpture contest is heaps of family fun ORCHARD BEACH — Participants in the 30th annual Family Sand Sculpture Competition at Ocean Park tackled the challenge with serious tools, but the combination of pails, shovels, rakes and hoes produced as much fun as anything else Sunday afternoon.

They came from across the United States, Canada and the Atlantic Ocean to be a part of traditional July Fourth festivities hosted by the Ocean Park Association. Most had definite plans to fulfill this year’s theme, “Treasures in the Sea,” and maybe take home a prize.

Competitors included John Fust, 44, of Ottawa, Ontario, who grew up in Montreal and has been coming to Old Orchard Beach all his life. Now, Fust and his family live most of the year in Switzerland, where he is head coach of EHC Visp, a professional hockey team. 

While some participants planned their sculptures for weeks, Fust and his wife, Rosalind, decided over the weekend that they and their three children would join the contest. Their massive sea turtle was nearly finished when Fust divulged the secrets of their anticipated success.

“You just need to have a plan, be organized and have fun,” Fust said.

Tradition is a major factor in the contest. Ann Handley of Andover, Massachusetts, has been coming to Ocean Park since she was in college, and competing in the sand sculpture event since 2004.

“In 2008 we came in third,” said Handley, a writer and marketing professional. “We’ve been trying to do that again or maybe even best ourselves ever since.” read more at