Arianne van Rosmalen and Marielle Heessels will be arriving from Holland on July 22, while Peter Vogelaar, who has roots in Fort St. John, returns July 25. Seattle’s Sue McGraw will arrive July 28, and David Ducharme from Winlaw, B.C. rounds out this year’s crew.  

Throughout the event, the professional sculptors will be sharing some of their “trade secrets”, starting with the family and group competition on the first day of the event July 27. While the groups of four, with at least one member 16 years old or younger, compete, they’ll be getting tips on how to take their sand castles to the next level. The competition begins at 10 a.m., and registration for the 10 available spots can be done by calling the Fort St. John Arts Council at 250-787-2781. 

The professional carvers will be putting the final touches on their sand masterpieces by Friday, August 2, and the creations will be left up as long as they’re still standing. The sand that comes from the banks of the Peace River – donated by Nels Ostero Sand & Gravel – is gaining a reputation among carvers for its long-lasting quality. Last year’s sculptures even lasted through the winter.