Winning Piccolo sand sculpture inspired by The Hunger Games
When it comes to sand sculpting, size doesn’t always matter.
Sand sculpture winners
Winners of the Piccolo Spoleto Sand Sculpting Competition on Saturday
Best of Children’s
1st - Soldier’s Appreciation
2nd - Chillin’ by the Sea
3rd - Angels
Best of Young Adults (only one entry)
1st - Pick-Below Spoleto
Best of Family
1st - Two Dolphins
2nd - Mount Slashmore
3rd - Sun-Kissed
1st - The Muppets Take Mount Pleasant
2nd - Angel Oak
3rd - Eskimo Pie
1st - John’s Magic Castle
2nd - Parthenon
3rd - Rapunzel’s Castle
Best of Adults
1st - Ice Dream
2nd - All is ‘Well’ at Spoleto, or is it?
3rd - Granddad’s Old Castle
Best of Show - Overall
The Best of Show overall winners for the 24th annual Piccolo Spoleto Sand Sculpting Competition seized on the popularity of “The Hunger Games” books and movie and re-created the Mockingjay pin that protagonist Katniss Everdeen wore to represent rebellion.
Compared to some, from massive castles to a life-sized polar bear, Mockingjay measured no more than a yard in diameter and sat barely raised above the sand. But it was meticulous in detail.
The sculptors — Rachael and Jeff Mahaffey of Hanahan and Michael and Krista Mowrer of Summerville — are among a loyal band of amateur, yet very competitive, sculptors who regularly participate at the annual event along the Isle of Palms “front beach.”
Among the others are the Mitch Embler family, Jack Tracey, David Burt and Jack Case, all out again battling the sun, sand, sweat and hundreds of spectators who ask questions while they try to complete sculptures within a time limit.
Organizer Chris Tindal said team and individual registrations nearly doubled — a total of 48 — over last year’s contest, but fell short of the record of 62 in 2010.
“An amazing thing this year,” said Tindal, “is that more than half of the teams are families. We like that because we want parents bringing kids out to be involved in this family-oriented, fun event.”
Some of those kids actually became parts of the sculpture.
Trinity Lopez, the daughter of Jessica Lopez of Hanahan, became the “creepy kid” coming out of a sculpture of a water well, inspired by the 2002 horror movie, “The Ring.” Her family team titled the sculpture, “All is well at Spoleto, or is it?”
The mastermind of the sculpture, Mike Steinback of North Charleston, has been competing in the sand sculpture contest for nearly nine years and wouldn’t dream of missing it.
“I passed up going to a party for a pretty girl on Folly Beach so I’d be ready for this morning,” said Steinback. “I guess I know where my priorities are.”
In contrast to “The Ring” sculpture, 4-year-old Ava Baugh of Captiva Island, Fla., got to be a princess on an elaborate throne sand sculpture as her brothers, Riley, 10, and Elijah, 7, served as her guards.
When asked if they treat her like a princess in real life, the boys were quick to say, “No.”
Meanwhile, one of the most meaningful sculptures created Saturday was by cousins Brittany MacDonald, 13, and Jacqueline LeClair, 12, who created an American flag using food coloring and seashells as stars. Beneath the sculpture, titled “Soldier’s Appreciation,” read “Land of the Free Because of The Brave.”
MacDonald said it was a tribute to their late grandfather, Arlin Laier, who served in World War II and passed away four years ago.
“We think about him a lot,” added MacDonald.