A summer trip to Yarmouth isn’t complete without stopping to check out the thirty-one unique sand sculptures on the Yarmouth Sand Sculpture Trail. Begin at the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center on Route 28 in West Yarmouth to pick up a map of the sculptures then enjoy spotting the unique sand creations at local businesses around town! This year the Sand Sculpture Trail is celebrating its 10th year.
The sculptors from Fitzysnowman Sculpting began construction on May 14th, and all of the sand sculptures will be completed by mid-June. The sand creations stay up through the summer and can be spotted Memorial Day through Columbus Day.
Fitzysnowman Sculpting is a Massachusetts based business that has gained national recognition for their unique sculpting work. They’ve been involved in the Sand Sculpture Trail in Yarmouth since the beginning. Speaking to Cape Media News, sculptor Sean Fitzpatrick explained that the sculptures are made not from the sand you’d find on a Cape beach, but rather out of a very fine construction sand. This quarried sand has square grains that stack and compress well. Beach sand usually has rounded grains from being tossed around in the wave and tide action, making it harder to compress and sculpt.
The sand is compacted into stacked wooden forms, layered up to the intended sculpture height. Then the forms are removed layer by layer, and carved from the top down, until the creation is revealed. Fitzpatrick compares the consistency to powdered sugar! Finally, the sculpture is lightly sprayed with a solution of Elmer’s glue and water to give a little extra protection from the elements. Barring any human interference or vandalism, the sculptures should last through any weather until Columbus Day. Each year the sculptures require over 90 tons of sand!
The Sculptures can be found in front of local businesses and other public locations, and the designs often correspond to the locations! There are also often nautical themes with friendly fish, ships, sea monsters, and more! The town funds the sand sculptures and local businesses commission the artists. For a complete list of participating businesses, updates on which sculptures are complete, and a map of the Sculpture Trail, visit the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce website.
Don’t forget your phone or camera while you’re out spotting the sand sculptures; you can enter your best shots in the Sand Sculpture Trail Photo Contest for a chance to win gift certificates to local businesses. Prizes are awarded in a number of categories, including most creative, selfie, and best location. (Be sure to keep a respectful distance from the sculptures when taking your pictures, as any that are taken inside the roped off areas will be automatically disqualified.)