Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'I Live for This Festival'; from Parade to Sand Castles, Festival a Big Hit

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'I Live for This Festival'; from Parade to Sand Castles, Festival a Big Hit

Article excerpt

Byline: Maggie FitzRoy, Shorelines staff writer

Six-year-old Destiny DeLaney sat on the sand and surveyed her surroundings. The Atlantic Ocean was to her east. And to her north, to her south and to her west -- she saw her competition: other serious sand castle sculptors. Destiny dug her shovel into a pile of sand, packed it onto her growing creation and smiled at her mom, Melissa DeLaney.

"We've been doing this since she was born. Today, she's making a sea turtle," Melissa DeLaney said, watching her daughter work.

"Bring that leg back where his tail is, like he's swimming . . . " she called out. Then she grinned.

"We never win," she said. "But we have fun."

The mother and daughter team from Jacksonville joined the sand castle contest Saturday morning that helped kick off last weekend's Opening of the Beaches celebration. For the thousands who came to the sand castle contest and to the festivities that followed -- music at the SeaWalk Pavilion, swimsuit contests, food, art displays and Sunday's Opening of the Beaches Festival Parade -- it was all about tradition and it was all about fun.

The sand castle contest started at 8:30 a.m. and included contestants of all ages. Families and friends built castles together on the beach next to the lifeguard station at the foot of Beach Boulevard. There were Cinderellla-type castles, funky castles, sculptures of whales and pigs, palm trees and surfboards.

John Scott of Ponte Vedra Beach, his daughter Carolyn, 12, and a cousin, Carrie Sullivan, 11, won best overall for their creation, "Beach Ball Family Fun."

"We try every year," John Scott said. "Winning is wonderful."

At noon, the band Surfin Urchins began playing at the SeaWalk Pavilion, followed by fashion shows and bands who played until well after dark.

The fun started up again Sunday at noon with music from Fifth South. …

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