For Immediate Release - 4/20/03

Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark and the Sons of the Beach Sand Castle Wizards are working together to give visitors yet another good reason to visit the Island this summer: a sand sculpture garden/mini golf course -- the likes of which South Texas has never seen.

The sculpture garden will utilize some 3500 tons of grade AAA South Padre Island sand as well as the talents of at least 12 master sand sculptors from the US and Canada, and will feature graphic depictions of the works of Jules Verne - including "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"; "Journey to the Center of the Earth" ; "Mysterious Island" and "Around the World in 80 Days." Incorporated into the site - which is located in the gated area behind the Chapel by the Sea at Schlitterbahn - will also be a new mini golf course for visitors to utilize while viewing the sculpture.

Workers using heavy equipment began dumping sand into big wooden forms last week -- a process that should be completed by the beginning of May -- which is when the visiting sculptors are scheduled to arrive on the island. The carving process is expected to take about 3 weeks to complete and the sculpture garden should be open for public viewing by Memorial Day weekend.

The project is being directed by Amazin' Walter McDonald, who - with his fellow SoBs sandy feet and Fred Mallett - will be among the sculptors working on the big sand piles. Other sculptors involved include Meredith Corson, Dan Doubleday, Suzanne Altamare, and Jill Smith (Florida); Joe Maize (Hawaii); Carl Jara (Ohio) Karen Fralich, Marc Lepire, Sandi & Wayne Stirling (Canada); Thomas Koets (Holland) and Anne DeMarzo (New York).

"The Sand Sculpture Garden will showcase the island’s greatest natural resource and local talent. By spotlighting the books of Jules Verne, we hope to inspire children to read these classics," said Christy McDonald, Events Director at Schlitterbahn. "Also, we plan to target summer reading programs in schools, libraries and other youth organizations. If the program is successful, it may become an annual event."

After the carving has been completed, the sculptures will be treated with an environmentally-friendly sealant to help preserve them throughout the summer season. If all goes according to plan, visitors to Schlitterbahn will be treated to sand castle lessons and demonstrations at the sculpture garden site as well.

Event Sponsors/Partners include the following:
Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark, South Padre Island, Texas
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas
Shrimp Haus at Rio Beach Restaurant
Sons of the Beach Sand Castle Wizards


For more information - including work-in-progress photos - visit the event web-site at www.padresand.com. Starting early in May internet surfers will be able to watch the project develop in real time at www.spi-cam.com.

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