7th Annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic Nov. 11-15, 2016


This November 11-15, twenty-four of the world’s preeminent master sand sculptors will be competing in the Siesta Key Crystal Classic. Now in its seventh year, this popular visual and cultural arts festival has hosted over 200,000 attendees one of the country’s best beaches.

In only 24 sculpting hours, (spanning the five day event), the master sculptors will create sand masterpieces, some over ten feet tall, and transform the always beautiful Siesta Beach into an outdoor art gallery. These renowned artists will produce spectacular, ephemeral works of art from just sand and water.

The festival also features live music all weekend, a large shopping village and a variety of food and drink vendors. Other activities include the popular three day “Quick Sand” speed sculpting competition, sand sculpting lessons, an amateur competition and new this year is The Learning Curve – an educational and fun activity area for kids.

Parking will be easy for guests who chose the off-site shuttle service offered through SCAT, routes 10 and 11. A Mobi-Mat will be placed on the sand for easier walking on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Information regarding the 2016 event schedule, ticket options and parking passes can be found on the website: www.siestakeycrystalclassic.com.

The production of this year’s festival is a partnership between the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and Mote Marine Laboratory. Mote staff and trained volunteers partner in the Crystal Classic to raise awareness and donations for the Lab’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program. This is a rare opportunity to help hundreds to thousands of people learn about the ancient reptiles on our beaches, how to protect them and how to support Mote’s sea turtle research and conservation efforts.

Founded in 2010, The Crystal Classic is a collaborative community event that supports the cultural arts and celebrates beautiful Siesta Key Beach. It is the result of discussions between master sand sculptor and Siesta Key resident Brian Wiglesworth and representatives of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, Mote Marine Laboratory and Visit Sarasota County.

For information about Siesta Key Crystal Classic partnership or vendor opportunities, please contact Ann Frescura at the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce – 941-349-3800; email siestakeycrystalclassic@gmail.com; or visit www.SiestaKeyCrystalClassic.com. For video, please visit the Siesta Key Crystal Classic YouTube channel. High resolution photos are also available.

For more information about Mote Marine Laboratory please visit www.mote.org or contact Kaitlyn Fusco, Public Relations Manager, at 941-388-4441, ext. 417; Cell: 941-302-4997; or kfusco@mote.org.