Fire Island’s “First Annual” Sand Castle Competition

Amidst the Fire Department Pancake Breakfast flyers and Church Sunday Mass posters, some young teen from Robbin’s Rest—Daniel (age 14) and Veronica (age 13)— both infamous for their inter-sand path lemonade stand – decorated telephone poles in Ocean Beach to the east and Fair Harbor to the west with invitations to the First Annual Fire Island Sandcastle Competition. Teams were able to access the website via QR code, where the pictures, rumored to be crafted by an up-and-coming 6-year-old photographer, are were on display. Twenty contestants on seven teams ranging from ambitious child architects to well-established maternal sandcastle contractors, flocked to the beach between Ocean Beach and Robin’s Rest.

Coupled with the high tide, Labor Day heat, and curious onlookers, contestants were challenged to the limit. Castles were designed to withstand the three hours of competition utilizing a wide array of structural techniques. Some teams chose an animal theme – mostly aquatic creatures – while others rendered seaside towns, complete with amenities. Luckily for the contestants, the cousins served a Happy Hour of homemade lemonade and iced tea, free of charge. Team Nathansons actually used the Solo cups from the lemonade to construct miniature additions to their tabletop fortress.

As the contest came to a close, judges were spontaneously chosen at random to minimize the risk of bias. Among the sunbathers, two Robin’s Rest residents were selected. By 2:30 p.m. the two judges were no longer on island time. Among the sandcastle artisans, it came down to three teams to leave with a novelty shovel, an award, and of course the glory. Third place winners were “Team Octopus,” who carefully constructed the namesake behemoth that would strike fear into any maritime voyage. “Team Island Kingdom” ranked Second place with their re-embodied concept of Atlantis as we would know it today. Finally, First Place honors were bestowed to “Team SSSS,” who amazed those who passed by with their artistic rendering a wave with three dolphins frozen in time. 

Only time will tell, however, it seems that this Labor Day sandcastle competition will precedent for Fire Island – like Burning Man! Except here, contestants will redefine the conventions of beach architecture in just three short hours.

Photos by Veronica (age 13) and Julian (age 6).


Photo credit Veronica age 13 - 8.jpg

Photo credit Julian age 6 - 4.jpg

Photo credit Julian age 6 - 3.jpg

Photo credit Julian age 6 - 3 (1).jpg

2nd place winner - Photo credit Julian age 6 - 1.jpg

1st place winner - Photo credit Veronica age 13 - 14.jpg