The 60th annual Begonia Festival kicked off the Labor Day weekend with its usual Sand Sculpture Contest on Saturday morning and dozens of teams challenged each other on the beach with their most creative ideas coming to life right off the shore of Capitola Beach.
When it was all said and done, Evan Keane and his group took the grand prize for the third time in the contest’s history with their giant sand statue of a station wagon with a jumbo sized dog on the roof running over an elephant called “Dog On It!”
“We got here around 7:30 in the morning and worked until noon,” he said. “We had the idea from the start, so we put in some hard work and it turned out well.”
But it wasn’t just the fantastic work that was put into a great looking piece because the sculpture itself had a small political message behind it.
According to the group, the idea came behind Mitt Romney’s blunder of keeping their dog, Seamus, inside a kennel and strapped to the roof of the station wagon on a family trip back in 1983. The elephant with the crossed out eyes, you guessed it, represented the Republican Party.
Keane and his group, primarily made up of family members, have been participating in the Sand Sculpture Contest in the Begonia Festival for 23 years. Also according to the group, a small replicated clay model of their idea is made each year to go off of.
Other sculpture winners in the event were “Capitola Starfish” with first place in the eight-and-under category and “Princess and Dragon Castle” in second. For the 9-14 age group, “60 Years of Growing” took first place and in second was “Titanic’s Truth”.
In the one-adult/one-child category, “OPA! 1984” snatched first place and not far behind was “Team Trestle” in second. As for the small group section, “Castle” came in first and in second place was “Beach Treasure.” For the large group, “Scooby Dooby Doo” took first place and “CSP- So Bored” was next in second.
Polly Malik from Capitola has been involved with the Begonia Festival for three years but this was her first as the organizer for the Sand Sculpture Contest. She was pleased with the amount of people that showed up and took part of the contest.
“It was a very good turnout and I think part of it is because of the weather,” said Malik. “We had some people that came out around 5:30 a.m.”
“There are some spectacular, outstanding sculptures from year to year. Some are political, some are just works of art, and some are just so fun.”