Jul 28, 2014
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Summer Sandcastle Comeback Talks to Continue Friday, But No Contest

Stakeholders agreed to try to hold a sandcastle event this year, possibly combined with kids contest.

Summer Sandcastle Comeback Talks to Continue Friday, But No Contest

Efforts to revive a summer sandcastle event for Imperial Beach will continue Friday, said Julia Simms with Che.

, and stakeholders seemed to agree that they want to hold a sandcastle themed event this summer.

“I think everyone was on the same page with having a safe, family oriented event and focusing on the kids,” said Dan Gutowski, captain of the Sand Squirrels who attended the last meeting.

“I think everyone’s in agreement that closing down the street and having vendors is not there this year.”

No competition is planned this year. Instead, about five sandcastle teams who typically competed in the Masters class of the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, like the Sand Squirrels, will put their work on display for the public.

The event could lead to revival of a competition in the future.

“We’ll go out there essentially and display our civic involvement and community pride and do a castle,” Gutowski said Wednesday. “If that’s it, that’s a success.”

Julia Simms with Che said the group will focus on an event that attracts about 10,000 people instead of 400,000.

“Primarily we needed to focus on ways to continue the event, but without incurring public safety and general fees from the city, so we looked at ways to do a scaled back event,” Simms said Wednesday. “That’s the only way not to incur higher costs.”

Sheriff’s Lt. Marco Garmo and City Manager Gary Brown are working on a cost estimate to supply additional security and city services, she said.

Simms said interest was expressed in piggybacking the Kids ‘N Kastles Sandcastle Competition set for July 7, but stakeholders want to assure the sponsoring Optimist Club of Imperial Beach that it would’t inherit additional costs as a result.

This matter may be clarified at Friday’s meeting.

President Rico Toscano with the Optimist Club of Imperial Beach said the organization has received its permit to hold the Kids N Kastles, but he is wary of combining the two events because he wants to assure the focus stays on competing kids.

Once the group of stakeholders has “all their ducks in a row,” the public at large will be invited to attend future meetings, Simms said.

Anyone with ideas or suggestions is asked to contact Julia Simms at 619-689-9909, ext 230, or email jsimms@thinkche.com

Simms said she intends to contact possible corporate sponsors, but the event is looking for a fundraising coordinator.

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