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Published: Wednesday, 6/25/2014

Beach comes to Levis Commons this week

Sand-Tastic, like this scene from last year, draws 10,000 to 15,000 people. Sand-Tastic, like this scene from last year, draws 10,000 to 15,000 people.
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Children will flood Levis Commons later this week for the fourth annual Sand-Tastic event that brings in a 30-by-30 foot sandbox for children.

Also, the outdoor event at the shopping center off of State Rt. 25 near the I-475/U.S. 23 interchange, has professional sand sculptors and other entertainment.

Town Center at Levis Commons officials estimate 10,000 to 15,000 people attending on Friday and Saturday. The event is free to get in and runs from noon to 8 p.m. each day. This year‘‍s theme is sights and sounds from the beach. The activities will take place on the sidewalks along Levis Commons Boulevard and on Chappel and Hollenbeck drives.

Chad Hartson and his crew from Ice Creations in Napoleon will be sculpting. It is the same company that had many of the ice sculptures at Downtown Perrysburg Inc.’‍s Winterfest. For this, they replace chainsaws with shovels and lighter tools to sculpt in the sand.

“3-D sculpting is the same concept once you understand it, it is just applying it to different mediums,” said Mr. Hartson. “It was a wet last year and with the wind we had to keep covering it up. It looks like it will be nice this weekend.”

The weather is supposed to be in the 80’‍s and there a 20 percent chance of rain both days. according to Weather.com.

Sandman Sales Yard from Holland will be dropping off 40 tons of sand for the event on Thursday. The firm will return July 6 to take it back and use it again in future construction projects. 

Events begin at noon Friday, when artists start building the 8-ton sand sculptures along the main boulevard under tents. The artists will start Friday afternoon and hopefully finish by Saturday afternoon. The sculptures will be on display until July 6 under a tent for protection.

With the beach theme, Mr. Hartson said, the sculptors will make a shark, octopus with instruments, angel fish, and a fourth sculpture still to be decided.

Last year rain washed away some chalk art, but this year there will be chalk art from professionals with 8-foot murals. Toledo School of Arts also will craft graffiti-style art with chalk. 

From noon to 5 p.m. on both days, the Wood Soil and Water Conservation District will have hands-on learning about water, rain, and soil erosion.

There will be a bouncy house and inflatable obstacle course for children, face-painting and temporary tattoos, a miniature John Deere Gator track, Imagination Station hands-on science, and professional sand sculpting lessons in the community sandbox. There will be a disc jockey from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday and there will be live music Saturday with Jeff Stewart performing near the fountain from 2 to 4 p.m. and the Steel Drum Band from 6 to 8 p.m.

A free amateur sand sculpting competition will be Friday night.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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