Enjoy the fun of mixing white quartz sand with creative imagination at Pemaquid Beach with Beachcombers’ Rest Nature Center’s (BRNC) good-spirited Beachscapes Contest on Saturday, August 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., weather permitting. Contestants are encouraged to let whimsy and fantasy be their guides in the construction of castles, sea creatures, forts, or even raked sand gardens adorned with rocks, seaweed, or found objects.

Sign up that day at BRNC between 10:00 a.m. and noon to receive a numbered stake and reserve a space on the beach. All constructions will be visited by Nature Center officials, and prizes will be awarded in the park’s picnic area at 2:00 by King Neptune and Queen Neptune. In the spirit of this non-competitive contest, each registered participant will receive an individualized certificate and prize ribbon. Participants will be responsible for leaving their site tidy after the contest. BYOS (bring your own shovel). The program is free, with paid admission to the Park. To reach the Park from Damariscotta, take the Bristol Road (State Rte 130) about 12 miles. Take the first right about 50 yards after the Fire Department (and just before Fairwinds Marina) onto Snowball Hill Road. Travel 9/10ths of a mile. At the bottom of the hill, on the left, there is a sign for the entrance to Pemaquid Beach Park (there’s also a smaller Beachcombers’ Rest Nature Center sign).

Typically more than 25 families participate in a Beachscapes Contest. At past contests, Pemaquid Beach has teemed with children and adults busily focused on creating everything from ornate castles and multi-tiered complexes to a dog, a sun, a seal, a sea dragon, a massive guitar with long strands of seaweed for strings, a tall pyramid encased in seashells, and even a miniature of a harbor scene complete with lighthouse, dock, and buoys. There also have been huge turtles, one with a nest of eggs; lobsters, one in a trap constructed from driftwood, and a long snake that had just eaten a rat. With a very clever use of seaweed for hair and shells for adornment, full-size mermaids have emerged from the sand, and one of them once innovatively employed a hot and sandy contestant as the form around which the mermaid was sculpted. Come see what inspiration brings this year!

Beachcombers’ Rest Nature Center is a collaboration between the Pemaquid Watershed Association and the Bristol Parks and Recreation Commission. This event will be cancelled if weather is inclement.

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