SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — When local sand sculptor Lucinda Wierenga stepped onto the beach by Clayton’s on Thursday morning, she felt terror.
The preparations she and her fellow sculptors had made the night before for Sandcastle Days were washed away by a high tide.
“This is not going to work at all, so what do we do?” Wierenga recalled thinking at the time.
Twelve sculptors, nine of whom are from other parts of the country and the world, had traveled for the competition. The free event offers many activities for families, and every year huge crowds turn out for Sandcastle Days, one of the most popular events on the Island.
Sculptors were busy at work on their creations yesterday, but not before some teamwork came together to make the event possible.
On Thursday, Adolfo Zamora, manager of Clayton’s, said his boss — Clayton Brashear — decided to make a call.
“A lot of people were saying it was going to be canceled because of the high tide, but my boss called the city right away,” Zamora said. “Everyone came to help.”
Brandon Hill, shoreline director for the City of South Padre Island, said that after receiving the call Thursday morning, city crews were on sight within 30 minutes to rectify the situation.
About 450 cubic yards of sand was brought in from Olmito Sand Pit LLC, and barriers were constructed Thursday and Friday to protect the sand sculptures from being washed away again.
“When it comes to things like Sandcastle Days, which is such a pivotal event for the Island, failure is never an option,” Hill said. “It wasn’t a question of were we going to help, but rather how can we help?”
At that point, it was not about the money or the competition anymore, Zamora said.
“We decided, let’s build something for the event, for everyone that’s going. We didn’t want to cancel, so we got (the sculptors) together to build six sand sculptures,” Zamora said.
The sculptors were split into teams of two and merged their ideas together to create something new.
“It’s really been a year of unity for everyone. The sculptors teamed up, the amateurs teamed up, everyone came together,” Hill said.