The sculptors are already at work for the 22nd annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic, which officially got underway on Thursday, but they'll have to do without fireworks.

11 sculptors are competing for $25,000 in cash prizes including $6,000 for first place, and the People's Choice prize of $1,000 in the classic on the beach between B and C Streets.

"Everything's full speed ahead. Everything's really good. We're set with the 150 ton demo site. The sculptors are on day one of the competition right now," organizer and founder Greg Grandy told Seacoast Current.

The competitors have started to work on the sculpture they hope will win, and are not deterred by rain or intense sun.

"The rain is actually good for us. Rain helps wet sand down and keep it in place. The sun and the wind are major enemies. To keep the sun from drying it up and the wind from blowing it away, we put a solution of 10% Elmer's glue 90% water after it's been completed," Grandy said.

Visitors can vote for the People's Choice Award Saturday afternoon between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.. The awards ceremony is at 8 p.m. on the Sea Shell stage. The sculptures will remain on display for another week and will be lit. One of the Hampton Beach beach cam is also trained on the display.

Nesting piping plovers have also caused the cancellation of the fireworks scheduled for Saturday.

A second group of the endangered birds near Bernie's Bar is of concern for the fireworks displays scheduled for the Fourth of July, because they nested later than hoped. They typically hatch 27-29 days later, according to Clifford.

21st Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Classic

Take a look at the entries in the 21st Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Classic held June 17-19, 2021

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