World-class sand masters smile for fun photos!

Cool sand artists rest for a bit near the foot of Broadway Pier as they create a welcoming sculpture for the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge! A couple faces look familiar from past competitions!
Cool sand artists rest for a bit near the foot of Broadway Pier as they create a welcoming sculpture for the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge! A couple faces look familiar from past competitions!

Some of the world’s greatest sand artists smiled for my camera late this afternoon! They’re now carving sand sculptures on Broadway Pier that will greet people as they arrive for the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.

During Labor Day weekend, these extraordinary artists will be working hard inside the Port Pavilion, where the public can watch them create spectacular pieces of fine art out of compacted sand!

If you’re in San Diego, it’s the big Labor Day weekend event you shouldn’t miss!

On the other side of the welcoming sand sculpture, a design is being carved that celebrates the 250th anniversary of the city of San Diego!
On the other side of the welcoming sand sculpture, a design is being carved that celebrates the 250th Anniversary of the City of San Diego!
One of the outdoor sand sculptures near the Port Pavilion is sponsored by MTS. It's a work still in progress.
One of the outdoor sand sculptures near the Port Pavilion is sponsored by San Diego’s transit system, MTS. It’s a work still in progress.
Sand master and TV star Chris Guinto smiles for my camera! I met him briefly five years ago during this annual competition. This sculpture he's working on promotes Natural Light Seltzer.
Sand master and TV star Chris Guinto smiles for my camera! I met him briefly five years ago during the annual competition. This sculpture he happens to be working on for an event sponsor will promote Natural Light Seltzer.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Compacting sand for world-class sculptures!

This morning sand is being compacted in wooden forms on the Broadway Pier. That means Labor Day weekend can’t be very far away, along with the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

During this annual festival, fine art will be created by some of the world’s top sand sculptors in the pier’s Port Pavilion. Meanwhile, I was told that the carving of several sponsored sand sculptures outdoors on the pier begins tomorrow!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter

Photos of Labor Day in Balboa Park.

A street musician smiles on a sunny Labor Day in Balboa Park.
A street musician smiles on a beautiful Labor Day in Balboa Park.

Labor Day in Balboa Park is no different than any other day. Most museums and attractions are open, and everyone is smiling.

I wanted to take it easy–just enjoy the day–so I headed into the park for an aimless, leisurely stroll…

San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez rehearses Stairway to Heaven with a rock band for tonight's final International Summer Organ Festival concert.
San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez rehearses Stairway to Heaven with a rock band for tonight’s final International Summer Organ Festival concert.
People enjoy the beauty near the Japanese Friendship Garden's Koi Pond.
People enjoy the beauty near the Japanese Friendship Garden’s Koi Pond.
Progress is being made on the Japanese Friendship Garden's new river, where an historic Great Buddha statue will soon be unveiled.
Progress is being made on the Japanese Friendship Garden’s new river, where a Great Buddha statue will soon be unveiled.

You can see additional photos of the Japanese Friendship Garden’s new stream under construction by clicking here.

Labor Day was quiet at the International Cottages, which were all closed for the holiday.
Labor Day was quiet at the International Cottages, which were all closed for the Monday holiday.
As I walked behind the Balboa Park Club building, I gazed northwest toward the Cabrillo Bridge.
As I walked behind the Balboa Park Club building, I gazed northwest toward the Cabrillo Bridge and took this photo.
On Labor Day, like most days, the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden in Balboa Park is a quiet place for solitude.
On Labor Day, like most days, the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden in Balboa Park is a quiet place for solitude.
Families enjoy Labor Day in front of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
Families enjoy Labor Day in front of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
People relax on a bench by the old Mack Water Truck just outside the entrance of the San Diego Automotive Museum.
People relax on a bench by the old Mack Water Truck just outside the entrance of the San Diego Automotive Museum.
Walking through Pan American Plaza between the San Diego Automotive Museum and nearby Recital Hall.
Walking through Pan American Plaza between the San Diego Automotive Museum and nearby Recital Hall.
Balboa Park was the ideal place for a picnic this Labor Day.
Balboa Park was the ideal place for a picnic this Labor Day.
Young and old enjoy the famous beauty of Balboa Park's lily pond.
Young and old enjoy the famous beauty of Balboa Park’s lily pond.
All sorts of people were out on the grass enjoying the May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden at the San Diego Museum of Art.
All sorts of people were out on the grass enjoying the May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden at the San Diego Museum of Art.
Visitors were touring the California Tower and gazing across Balboa Park.
Visitors were touring the iconic California Tower and gazing across Balboa Park, one of the most wonderful places in the world.
This group wanted to see fine art so they headed into the San Diego Museum of Art.
This group wanted to see fine art so they headed into the San Diego Museum of Art.
Some smiling street musicians were setting up on El Prado.
Some smiling street musicians were setting up on El Prado to entertain passersby.
The silly Lärabar Street Team danced for my blog, then I got some yummy samples to eat!
The silly Lärabar Street Team danced for my blog, then I got some yummy samples to eat!
Mentalist, hypnotist and super nice guy Ralph Hamrick greets me with his usual smile! I still haven't recovered from that weird mental trick he performed on me.
Mentalist, hypnotist and super nice guy Ralph Hamrick greets me with his usual smile! I still haven’t recovered from that weird mental trick he performed on me.
Street magician Kenny Shelton delights some young people with one of his amazing tricks.
Street magician Kenny Shelton delights some young people with one of his amazing tricks.
Lots of people were enjoying hula hoops on the grass!
Lots of people were enjoying hula hoops on the grass!
The San Diego Blood Bank was saving lives in front of the Museum of Man.
The San Diego Blood Bank was saving lives in front of the Museum of Man.
A quiet moment on Balboa Park's broad, green West Mesa.
A quiet moment on Balboa Park’s broad, green West Mesa.
This squirrel had no notion it was Labor Day. It was just another day in the park.
This squirrel didn’t know today was a holiday. It was just another day in the park.
Even street performers have to eat lunch, you know!
Even street performers have to eat lunch!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Action photos from Labor Day weekend stickball!

Today I enjoyed watching an action-packed game of stickball in Little Italy.

San Diego’s annual Labor Day weekend stickball tournament has become a big community event, with sponsors and media coverage and people on lawn chairs lining sidewalks watching players crush the spaldeen. A solid swing of the broom handle will launch the ball like a rubber rocket to the other end of the block!

When games are underway, I always make it a point to walk through Little Italy, so I can hang out for a bit and watch the stickball teams compete for fame and glory. The action is intense but it’s all in good fun.

I learned that this year the stickball teams are all local. The game I watched had a number of exciting plays.

Here come photos that capture a bit of the flavor…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Masterpieces by World Master sand sculptors!

He Left From Here, an angelic sand sculpture by World Master Dmitry Klimenko from St. Petersburg, Russia.
He Left From Here, an angelic sand sculpture by World Master Dmitry Klimenko from St. Petersburg, Russia.

The following photos feature twelve of the most amazing sand sculptures you’re likely to ever see.

Each work of art was created by an internationally famous World Master sand sculptor. And right now, throughout this Labor Day weekend, the public can experience these fantastic works of sand art up close and in person at the 2018 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego, California is considered to be one of the premier Labor Day events in all the United States. At this unique competition, which is held on downtown’s Broadway Pier, visitors can also view incredible sand sculptures carved by super-talented local teams (this year three award-winning teams from Imperial Beach), and all sorts of additional three dimensional artwork along the pier.

But the most extraordinary sand sculptures are inside the pier’s Port Pavilion. And that is what I photographed today.

Prepare to have your breath taken away!

Fantastic art is created by one of the world's top sand sculptors inside San Diego's Port Pavilion at the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.
Fantastic art is created by one of the world’s top sand sculptors inside San Diego’s Port Pavilion at the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.
Dmitry Klimenko puts the finishing touches on another of his breathtaking works of sand art.
Dmitry Klimenko puts the finishing touches on a truly breathtaking work of sand art.
Eulogy, a sand sculpture of a rhinoceros by World Master Brian Turnbough from Chicago, Illinois.
Eulogy, a sand sculpture of a rhinoceros by World Master Brian Turnbough from Chicago, Illinois.
The artistry seen in this sand sculpture is extraordinary.
The artistry seen in this sand sculpture is extraordinary.
Brian Turnbough finishes a tribute to the endangered rhinoceros.
Brian Turnbough finishes a tribute to the endangered rhinoceros.
Who Are You?, a fantastic sand sculpture by World Master Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova from Latvia.
Who Are You?, a fantastic sand sculpture by World Master Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova from Latvia.
Closer photo of a remarkable sand sculpture.
Closer photo of a remarkable sand sculpture.
Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova puts the final touches on a sand cat.
Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova puts the final touches on a sand cat.
A visitor to the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego admires a small work of art.
A visitor to the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego admires a small work of art.
At Last, Atlas' Last Atlas!, a humorous sand sculpture by World Master Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California.
At Last, Atlas’ Last Atlas!, a humorous sand sculpture by World Master Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California.
Morgan Rudluff works to finish her sculpture by early afternoon, to meet the competition's deadline.
Morgan Rudluff works to finish her sculpture by early afternoon, to meet the competition’s deadline.
A unique work of art produced by skilled hands and human imagination.
A unique work of art produced by skilled hands and human imagination.
The base of Liberation, a sand sculpture about freedom by World Master Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri.
The base of Liberation, a sand sculpture about freedom by World Master Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri.
An eagle is liberated from a cell-like cage. Dynamic sand art with great emotional impact.
An eagle is liberated from a cell-like cage. Dynamic sand art with great emotional impact.
Existential Paradox, a mysterious sand sculpture by World Master Rusty Croft from Carmel, California.
Existential Paradox, a mysterious sand sculpture by World Master Rusty Croft from Carmel, California.
Peering through an existential paradox at an inner human face.
Peering through the existential paradox at an inner human face.
A part of one face.
A part of one face.
Rusty Croft works on humanity's mysterious inner essence.
Rusty Croft works on humanity’s mysterious inner essence.
Another amazing sand sculpture inside the Port Pavilion!
Another amazing sand sculpture inside the Port Pavilion!
Let's Dance, a fanciful sand sculpture by World Master Meg Murray from Australia.
Let’s Dance, a fanciful sand sculpture by World Master Meg Murray from Australia.
A closer photo of the graceful, organic sand sculpture.
A closer photo of the graceful, organic sand sculpture.
Meg Murray concentrates on her poetic sand art.
Meg Murray concentrates on her poetic sand art.
Rear of the abstract Let's Dance, with some simple sand sculpting tools on a table in the foreground.
Rear of the abstract Let’s Dance, with some simple sand sculpting tools on a table in the foreground.
Victory, a classic sand sculpture by World Master Thomas Koet from Melbourne, Florida.
Victory, a classic sand sculpture by World Master Thomas Koet from Melbourne, Florida.
Another work of art. It seems a miracle that such a fine sculpture can be made out of sand.
Another fine work of art. It seems a miracle that such a detailed sculpture can be made out of sand.
Thomas Koet at work on the back side of his triumphant sand sculpture.
Thomas Koet at work on the back side of his triumphant sand sculpture.
A world-class sand artist at work.
A world-class sand artist at work.
To Have and To Hold, an amazing sand sculpture by World Master Abram Waterman from Prince Edward Island, Canada.
To Have and To Hold, an amazing sand sculpture by World Master Abram Waterman from Prince Edward Island, Canada.
An eye-catching photo of an eye-popping sand sculpture!
An eye-catching photograph of an eye-popping sand sculpture!
This photo makes it appear as though huge hands are clasping the artist Abram Waterman.
This photo makes it appear as though huge hands are clasping the artist Abram Waterman.
Tender love depicted on the rear of the sculpture.
Tender love depicted on the rear of the sculpture.
A beautiful woman is held in the sculpted sand hands--in the eye of the beholder.
A beautiful woman is held in the sculpted sand hands–in the eye of the beholder.
Inspire, a beautiful sand sculpture by World Master Marielle Heessels from Netherlands.
Inspire, a beautiful sand sculpture by World Master Marielle Heessels from Netherlands.
Flowing beauty magically rises from a block of sand.
Flowing beauty magically rises from a block of sand.
An inspirational sand sculpture in San Diego.
An inspirational sand sculpture in San Diego.
Small Victories, a happy sand sculpture by World Master Lucinda "Sandy Feet" Wierenga from South Padre Island, Texas.
Small Victories, a happy sand sculpture by World Master Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga from South Padre Island, Texas.
Lucinda Wierenga creates amazing detail with very simple tools.
Lucinda Wierenga creates amazing detail with very simple tools.
A butterfly emerges from a flowery bottle of small victories.
A butterfly emerges from a flowery bottle full of small victories.
Celebration, or Cerebration, a brainy sand sculpture by World Master Leonardo Ugolini from Italy.
Celebration, or Cerebration, a cool sand sculpture by World Master Leonardo Ugolini from Italy. Small figures gaze up at a gigantic brain!
Astonishing art awaits visitors on Labor Day weekend in San Diego at the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!
Astonishing art awaits visitors on Labor Day weekend in San Diego at the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Sand sculptures appear for big Labor Day event!

A sand sculpture rises at the foot of Broadway Pier in San Diego. It depicts fireworks above the Port Pavilion, site of the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge on this upcoming Labor Day weekend!
A sand sculpture rises at the foot of Broadway Pier in San Diego. It depicts fireworks above the Port Pavilion, site of the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge this upcoming Labor Day weekend!

It’s almost Labor Day weekend! That means a huge, super cool event is almost here!

The 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Expo will be held on Broadway Pier again this year, and if it’s anything like past competitions, the sand art will be absolutely unbelievable. Some of the world’s top sand sculptors will compete inside the Port Pavilion, turning huge piles of sand into jaw-dropping masterpieces!

In addition to live music, food and lots of non-sand artwork at the dimensional art exhibition, World Master sculptors from all around the planet will be competing. So will three amazing teams from Imperial Beach!

Some early sand sculptures are already being built outside on the pier. The four I saw today either welcome visitors, or promote event sponsors. The competing sculptures inside the Port Pavilion will be much more elaborate. I’m not exaggerating when I say many of the sculptures from years past could be considered fine art.

This annual event opens Friday and runs through Monday.

I can’t wait!

Bumble Bee Jalapeno is advertised with a fun sand sculpture in front of the Port Pavilion.
Bumble Bee Jalapeño is advertised with a fun sand sculpture in front of the Port Pavilion.
MTS will be promoting Free Ride Day on October 2 with this sand sculpture.
MTS will be promoting Free Ride Day on October 2 with this sand sculpture, which is a work still in progress.
New event sponsor T-Mobile presents the Hall of Lame on this funny sand sculpture!
Another pile of sand is being shaped. New event sponsor T-Mobile presents the Hall of Lame with this funny sand sculpture!
Getting ready for Labor Day weekend and the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge on Broadway Pier!
Using a shovel to get ready for this Labor Day weekend and the very cool 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge on Broadway Pier!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Photos from the Labor Day Stickball Tournament.

Batter gets ready to swing during the Labor Day Stickball Tournament in San Diego. Sixteen teams, including five from the East Coast, played over two days.
A batter gets ready to swing during the Labor Day Stickball Tournament in San Diego. Sixteen teams, including five from the East Coast, played over two days.

I watched some of the action today at the 2017 Labor Day Stickball Tournament in Little Italy. This annual San Diego tradition–which has been going on for 19 years now–includes West and East Coast stickball teams competing for glory. Even a slight drizzle couldn’t stop the intense street action!

I took some photos while enjoying a few of the games. A good crowd lined the sidewalks to watch play on three different street blocks in Little Italy. Stickball in San Diego seems to be growing in popularity–at least it appears that way to me!

Every year the event seems to grow. Many were lining the sidewalk watching a very exciting stickball game.
Every year the event seems to grow. Many people were lining the sidewalks watching action-packed stickball games. The dog barked excitedly with every great play.
Banner for the Nineteenth Annual Labor Day Stickball Tournament in Little Italy, sponsored by Mission Federal Credit Union.
Banner for the Nineteenth Annual Labor Day Stickball Tournament in Little Italy, sponsored by Mission Federal Credit Union.
Cars head down the nearby street as a game is in progress. It rained a little bit today, as you can see.
Cars head down the nearby street as a game is in progress. It rained a little bit today, as you can see.
Running for home in front of the San Diego Firehouse Museum during the 2017 Labor Day Stickball Tournament.
Running for home in front of the San Diego Firehouse Museum during the 2017 Labor Day Stickball Tournament.
Playing hard, with a smile. Good times, good people.
Playing hard with a smile. Good times, good people.
A big grid of teams this year for the stickball tournament. Just from personal observation, the event seems to grow every Labor Day weekend.
A big grid of 16 teams this year for the stickball tournament. Just from personal observation, the event seems to grow every Labor Day weekend.
A player stretches, a team huddles.
A player stretches as a team huddles. The play on hard asphalt is blazing fast and fierce.
Getting ready to be a stickball hero!
Getting ready to be a stickball hero!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!