The leaves may be changing, but in Rhode Island’s South County region, there’s a reason to head back to the beach this Columbus Day Weekend. The first Atlantis RIsing International Sand Sculpture Competition lures 10 of the world’s top professional sand sculptors to Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly, Rhode Island, to compete for honors and cash prizes, and a four-day event built around this spectacle is your chance to play in the sand, hear bands, and snap photos galore.
The mythological lost city of Atlantis will be conjured into existence along Misquamicut’s half-mile of sand starting Friday, October 7, and a non-stop schedule of activities will continue through Monday, October 10, when the Sand Sculpture Competition’s People’s Choice winner will be revealed. The event is tented to protect the giant sculptures—and visitors—from the elements. You’ll have opportunities each day to watch sand sculptors demonstrating their meticulous work, as well as to participate in a lesson and try your hands at this art.
Be at the beach Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. to watch a choreographed drone light show, produced by Verge Aero of America’s Got Talent Fame. Simon Cowell found this high-tech entertainment golden-buzzer-worthy, and you’ll be glad you bundled up and spread out your beach blanket for this memorable display in the sky when winter days roll around and keep you cooped up inside.
Musical highlights of the weekend include Saturday’s disco party with the Australian Bee Gees Show, a tribute band set to perform from 7:30-9 p.m., and an appearance on Sunday from 6:30-7 p.m. by the Swon Brothers, a country duo that came on the scene thanks to their third-place finish on NBC’s The Voice in 2013.
Photo ops with jellyfish, seagulls, a mermaid, and an Aquaman impersonator will be ongoing, and food trucks will offer a variety of fare. There’ll be vendors and plenty of activities for kids, too, and if anyone’s venturing in the water, it’ll likely be children. They need no convincing that summer never has to end.
Tickets: Purchase tickets at the event for $15 or online in advance for $12. Children under 42″ tall are admitted free. Monday, October 10, is Family Day, and all young people under the age of 15 are admitted free.