Artists get down to the nitty-gritty at Siesta Key sand sculpture contest

The competition was tough at the Siesta Key Crystal Classic.

It took more than a plastic pail and shovel to compete in the eighth annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic this weekend, where artists made sculptures out of sand..

Teams from around the world, including South Korea, Canada, Italy, the Czech Republic, Singapore, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Portugal took part, as well as teams from California, Florida, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island and Texas. They were competing for a total of $9,000 in prizes.

The $3,000 first place award went to Karen Fralich of Canada and American Dan Belcher for their "Game of Thrones"-inspired  “Winter is Coming.

Other prizes and winners were:

Second place ($2,500): “Water Dream,” by Helena Bangart, The Netherlands, and Fergus Mulvany, Ireland / Holland

Third place ($1,000): “Reclamation,” by Steve Topazio and Ron MacDonald, United States

Sculptors’ choice ($1,500): “Catalytic Thinking,” Damon Langlois, Canada, and  Joris Kivits, The Netherlands

The $1,000 People’s Choice: award will be decided by the public, who can see the sculptures at Siesta Beach and vote through 5 p.m. Monday.

Winners will be announced Tuesday at 

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