This summer why not point that motorhome west and try something different? Head to Parksville on Vancouver Island for the Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition. Located about a half-hour’s drive from Nanaimo, a BC Ferries port, Parksville is known for its beaches. Each summer artists from around the globe come to turn one of those beaches into an open-air art gallery. Even better news for RVers is the number of campgrounds in the area, including one right next door to that very beach.
The 2013 Competition Dates are July 13 and 14, with the sculptures being on display until the evening of August 18th. Book your campsite early. Over 90,000 visitors now come to Parksville for this annual event. Entry to the exhibition area is $2.50 with all proceeds going to local non-profit groups.
Watch as the artists start building their mounds of sand and transform those mounds into sea creatures, castles, movie icons and just about anything else you can think of. This year’s theme is Fairy Tales, so that gives competitors the chance to really use their imaginations.
Building begins on July 12 with the gates opening to the public on Saturday afternoon, July 13. You can see the preliminary building from behind the gates even before the 2 p.m. opening. Judging is done on Sunday afternoon with the winner being announced at about 5:30 p.m. Vote for your favourite in the “People’s Choice Award.”
The competition is held on the beach in front of Community Park. The 39-acre open space is in the middle of town and offers hiking and biking paths including one that leads to an oceanfront gazebo. Washrooms, a concession stand and outdoor shower, perfect for rinsing off those sandy feet after a stroll on the beach, are available. Take the kids to the adjacent Lion’s Venture Land Playground and Waterpark. Or, head for the big grassy area to fly kites, play soccer, toss Frisbees or just to soak up some sunshine.
Park Sands Beach Resort
Park Sands Beach Resort is right next door to Community Park. This RV Park fronts its own bit of sand with some of the campsites offering beachfront views. Choose campsites with full or partial hook-ups. Larger sites near the beach offer 50-amp service and can handle the larger Class-A and fifth wheel RVs. Shops, restaurants and pubs are only a few blocks away. Step out of your rig and out onto the sand. You may be inspired by the goings on next door to try building an art sculpture of your own.
Your adventure begins with a visit to your Alberta RV Dealer to find your own home on wheels. After that your vacation possibilities are endless. As far as Parksville goes, a little sand, a little sun…what’s not to love?