Facebook33Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by The Hands On Children’s MuseumOver 275 employees of local businesses and organizations will go “shovel-to-shovel” building giant sand sculptures at this year’s Sand in the City® event, the South Sound’s favorite family sand festival. Thirteen teams will compete in this year’s event, held August 23-25 at the new Hands On Children’s Museum on Olympia’s East Bay Waterfront. The 13th annual Sand in the City® event is the Hands On Children’s Museum’s signature event and raises funds for the Museum’s Free and Reduced Admissions Programs. About 50,000 people from the Puget Sound region are expected to visit the free event, which showcases the Museum’s educational outreach programs and partners.The team sculpting competition runs Friday, August 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the whistle blows. A panel of judges and two master sculptors will judge the creations and award top honors, including the coveted Golden Shovel Award, at 4 p.m. on Friday. The public can vote for their favorite sculpture throughout the weekend in the People’s Choice Award competition. The People’s Choice winner will be announced at 4 p.m. on Sunday. This year’s teams include Alpine & Warehouse Rock Gym, Berschauer Phillips Construction, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County sponsored by Olympia Federal Savings, Brown and Caldwell, Great Wolf Lodge & Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington, Morningside, North Thurston Public School Art Teachers sponsored by Mortenson Construction, Olympia Free Clinic sponsored by Heritage Bank, Olympia School District sponsored by Washington State Employees Credit Union, Olympia Waldorf School sponsored by Reliable Electric, Panorama, Port Blakely Tree Farms, and Saint Martin’s Alumni Association sponsored by Saint Martin’s University.Families enjoy the huge sandbox at Sand in the City in downtown Olympia. The event supports reduced admission programs at the Hands On Children’s Museum.“We’re very excited!” said Howard Burton from Panorama. This is Panorama’s first year competing at the event. “It’s such a great cause that supports kids and a great opportunity for our staff to have some fun in the sun. We’re inviting all of our residents to come down to cheer for our team and enjoy the whole event!”The excitement continues Saturday and Sunday, August 24 & 25, with a free Beach Party featuring giant sandboxes, a rock climbing wall, a tide pool touch tank, and animal visits, along with more than 40 interactive art and science activities spread across East Bay Public Plaza and streets adjacent to the New Hands On Children’s Museum. The event also includes all-day entertainment on the stage, including hula, country, and big band swing dancers; African drummers, a blues band, and folk musicians; and children’s humorist and storyteller Rick Huddle. Favorite local food vendors and food trucks will be expanded at this year’s event.In addition to all the free outdoor festivities, families can visit the New Museum for a special event admission rate of $25 per family (this includes admission for up to 2 adults and 3 children). Admission will include access to the Museum’s nine themed galleries and 150+ hands-on exhibits, including the new Makespace in the Arts & Parts Studio, where they can tinker, design, and build using real tools and materials. It also includes admission to the new Outdoor Discovery Center, which is designed to connect young children to nature. The Center is one of only three “Going Wild!” pilot sites selected by the Association of Children’s Museums nationwide. During Sand in the City®, the Museum will unveil the first outdoor exhibits, including “Stickworks” – a giant stick sculpture by renowned environmental artist Patrick Dougherty, and “The Beach” – which replicates a Puget Sound beach and features a river bed, fallen logs, a beached dinghy, paddle boards and a Driftwood Fort Construction area with fixed and loose pieces of driftwood, giant root balls, and boulders.The Sand in the City® event originated in Portland, and now benefits non- profit organizations in the United States and Mexico. Olympia’s version of the event is free to the public. All donations, food sales, store sales, team entry fees, event sponsorships, and discounted Museum admissions support the Museum’s Free and Reduced Admissions Programs throughout the year which serves more than 75,000 children and adults. The event hours for Friday are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with public viewing of the team competition along with select art activities. Saturday’s giant Beach Party, which includes hands-on activities, live entertainment and demonstrations by Master Sand Sculptors, runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Then, Sunday’s Grandparents’ Day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., features additional activities designed for children and their grandparents to do together.For more information about Sand in the City®, visit www.hocm.org/sandinthecity.