Virginia Beach’s Neptune Festival sandsculpting event remains open through Sunday

Virginia Beach’s Neptune Festival sandsculpting event remains open through Sunday

Frank and Sharon Lemanski travel from Salem to Virginia Beach every year to visit family and attend the Neptune Festival.

But the remnants of Hurricane Ian canceled most of the festival events last weekend, and the organizers postponed the opening of the International Sandsculpting Championship display.

So the Lemanskis pushed their trip back a week. On Friday morning, they were finally able to see the sandcastles inside the tent on Seventh Street.

“This is just unbelievable,” said Frank Lemanski. “I was afraid with the storm, it might have damaged it.”

The enclosed tent and its contents survived the windy conditions. Using only sand, water and a handful of tools, the sculptors created intricate lifelike figures with subtle elements that only a keen eye will see.

In “Bedtime Story,” for example, tiny fairy tale characters perch around the edges of the bed, where a child is reading to a sleepy moon.

Local students have been visiting the tent this week. Kit Chope, CEO of the festival, helped lead a group from Seatack Elementary on Friday morning.

“While we were disappointed last week, the fact that we’re able to have it open means a lot,” he said.

The International Sandsculpting Championship tent is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Sunday. Tickets are $7 per person; cash only. Children ages 12 and younger are free with an adult.

Stacy Parker, 757-222-5125, stacy.parker@pilotonline.com