By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
The annual Lake Gregory sand sculpture contest pitted family against family in two categories of children and adults. There were 10 competitors creating imaginative sculptures, from the animal kingdom to mountain adventures and mysteries of the deep.
In the children’s division, honorable mention went to Brendan Mahoney, 9, of Azusa and Faye Cardenas, 12, who created a Kraken squid with a large eye and four tentacles. They each won a blow-up beach toy.
Violet Cardenas, 14, created her own sculpture of the Lock Ness Monster. Her attention to detail, including using little rocks she found as teeth, earned her second place, receiving $100 of beach store items or rentals for the 2019 season.
The young first-place winners were Charlotte, 4, and Avery Cardenas, 6, who had created not only a sand castle, but a complete scenario with the detail of a video game story of a princess whose castle was being attacked by the mom, dad and child crab creatures coming from the lake to destroy her kingdom. She was protected and safe in her beautifully decorated castle by her stacked rock soldiers to protect her. The princess stayed in her swimming pool to protect herself while she watched the battle rage.
All the materials, feathers, rocks and sticks used in their sculpture were found on the beach by the girls. Avery was very enthusiastically clear on the princess story and the castle. Although the Cardenas live in Sierra Madre, they have a vacation home in Crestline, so they will have the opportunity to use the $200 in boat and lake rentals they won.
In the adult division, it was the Eckhart men, Lance and Royce, against the Eckhart women, Chrystal and Kierra. This family used to live in Crestline with the children attending VOE school, but they now live in Rancho Cucamonga and frequently visit the area, so they will be able to use their rental winnings. They have won this sculpture contest and placed many times over the last decade with their creations.
This year, the ladies made a head sculpture of their dog, Chunk Norris, using vegetable dyes for the coloring of the dog’s face, including the details of many wrinkles in his forehead, and pine needles for his whiskers. The Eckhart men came in second place with an elephant head with its trunk going under the sand and coming up again, with marbles for the eyes. It was truly three dimensional.
The sand sculpture contest is traditionally held on the last day of the summer beach season at Lake Gregory, on Labor Day. While the water park and swim beach are now closed, Arlene Arenas, general manager of the Lake Gregory Recreation Company, said the marina rentals will remain open Thursday through Monday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., through November.
“Fall is a great season to come kayak or boat here,” Arenas said.