reach out and read

Sand Sculpture Garden & Mini Golf - FAQ

The Schlitterbahn Sand Sculpture Garden and Mini Golf course will be open to the public on May 30, 2003.

Below are some frequently-asked questions regarding this project -- and their answers.

1. What keeps the sand standing?

As the sculptures were completed, they were sprayed - repeatedly - with a solution of white glue and water. This glue is non-toxic and biodegradable. The solution puts a "skin" on the sculpture that keeps the detail crisp even through wind and rain.

2. Is this ordinary beach sand?

The sand was removed from the north end of HWY 100 here on SPI. We call it "blow sand" - as it arrived where it did by blowing off the island dunes. Unfortuately, this process removes much of the natural silt that SPI sand normally contains - the "sticky stuff" that helps hold sand sculptures together. To make this sand more like normal beach sand, powdered clay was dissolved in the water used to create the sand mounds.

3. Who did the carving?

You can find information on the master sculptors right here

4. What qualifies a sand sculptor to call him/herself a "master"?

Generally, a "master sculptor" is one who is recognized as such by his/her peers. A master sand sculptor competes at a world-class level and is invited to work on projects of this type because s/he has a history of success on other similar projects.

5. Does the sculpture garden require any kind of maintenance?

The sculptures occasionally experience "blow-outs" where a section of the glued skin falls off - exposing the dried sand below and requiring some patch work. It is expected that the sculptures will be requiring repairs throughout the summer. These repairs will be handled by local sculptors Amazin' Walter, sandy feet and Fred Mallett - also known as the Sons of the Beach Sand castle Wizards.

6. Can I learn how to do this?

The SoBs have been giving lessons to all levels of sand sculptors for many years now. At some point we expect to offer lessons right here at Schlitterbahn. In the meantime, visitors to South Padre Island can book a private lesson by visiting www.sonsofthebeach.com. To view a list of instructors in other parts of the county, click here.

7. How much does it cost to play the golf course?

$6 -- $5 if you have a day or season pass.

8. Is there a charge for just looking at the sculptures?

Yes. $4 -- $3 if you have a day or season pass.

9. I paid to get into the park already - why do I have to pay extra to see these sculptures?

If you think of the sand sculpture garden as a kind of art gallery, it makes more sense. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the "Reach Out And Read" program - promoting literacy right here in the Rio Grande Valley.

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