For the fifth year people have gathered on the shores of Lake Ontario to play in the sand during Burlington`s Children`s Festival.

By Pepper Parr

They gather in the hundreds and spend hours building sand castles.  There are the professional sand castle builders; then there are the Family efforts, that can be quite amazing and then there are what five, six and seven year olds build.

This is what happens when you let a professional get into a pike of sand. This one, being worked on by Sandi ‘Castle’ Stirling, delighted everyone.

This year it was just the same.

It was a perfect summer day. Just at the edge of the horizon sail boats tacked back and forth while people strolled along the edge of the water.

The pro’s were out there working on the big ones while the artists in progress were toiling away with their individual efforts.  While the crowds were not what the Beachway has seen in the past – it was the public making great use of a wonderful location.

Parking was a challenge but this Sunday we didn’t see the bylaw enforcement officers putting a ticket on anything that had four wheels.  Smart move city hall.

The music was light summer stuff – the Beach Boys sound and the crowds loved it.

The people putting together a A Cultural Action Plan for the city went to the community and asked people: What is culture to you and where do you look for it in Burlington. The group took a booth at the Children’s Festival and had children make their mark on a choice list. Interesting approach.

This year there was en element of culture thrown in.  Jeremy Freiburger, who heads up the development of the city`s Cultural Action Plan was asking the children and their parents where they looked for culture in Burlington and asking where did they find it?

His was an interesting approach to gathering information from the public.

Sculpting lots were laid out waiting for people to show up and begin working with sand. By the end of the day the lots were full with every imaginable idea built with sand.

The Festival was a two day event with the first day focused on the Beachway where the sand sculpture competitions took place.  People were able to register in advance and get a small lot assigned to them.

There were prizes in five categories: Adult, Youth, child, family and The People`s Choice.

The People`s Choice went to the Andrews family who really worked as a team.  Those who were not sculpting stood and held umbrellas over those who had their hands in the sand.

Adult prizes were:

1st:          Azva Bowron – Sponge Bob Square Pants

2nd:         John Bowron – Castle

3rd          Eunice Harvey – Flower

It wasn’t just about sand castles and playing in the water. Face painting was part of the event as well

In the Youth category prize winners were:

1st:          Julia Barnes – Man watching animals

2nd:         Matthew Souter – Igloo and snowman

3rd:         Jeff Behr – Tiger

In the Child category the winners were:

1st:          Mitchell Green-Johns – Dolphins

2nd:         Katie Green-Johns – Dragon Fly

3rd:         Lulia Skumuter – Flower

The Andrews Family took top prize in the Adult category as well as the People’s Choice prize Their winning effort was “under construction” in this photograph.

In the Family category the prize winners were:

1st :         The Andrews Family – Dragon and Castle

2nd:         Mifsud Family – Jungle Animals

3rd:         Barnes Family – Castle

The sand castle builders always had attentive audiences

The People Choice went to the first prize winners in the Family category – The Andrews Family with the Dragon and Castle sculpture.

Each year the Children`s  Festival has a sand castle theme.

The Children`s Festival is a two day event with Day2 taking place at Spencer Smith Park and runs from 10:00 am to 10 pm.  This is the 20th year of the Festival in Burlington.  The theme this year Jungle Safari:  the park will be overrun by Tarzans & Janes & Jungle Creatures! Themed around jungle fun, children will enjoy great activities targeted to them such as:

Live entertainment,  Play zones, Inflatables, Character meet & greet, Shows, Kids’ marketplace and the  Jungle Promenade Parade.  Add crafts and the NEW Infant marketplace & activities.

The evening ends with an outdoor showing of the film Madagascar 2


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1 comment to For the fifth year people have gathered on the shores of Lake Ontario to play in the sand during Burlington`s Children`s Festival.

  • Margaret Lindsay Holton

    Agree that the City did the smart thing by keeping ‘parking enforcement’ to a minimum … The Burlington Beach strip was FULL. It was a glorious day for this event. Good fun had by all.