PHOTOS: Winners of annual Siesta Key sand scuplture contest

Karen Fralich, a Canadian citizen and Dan Belcher, a U.S. citizen took home the top prize of $3,000 for their masterpiece "Winter is Coming." Photo courtesy of Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival.

SIESTA KEY, Fla. (WFLA)—Master sand sculptors from around the globe descended on the white sandy beaches of Siesta Key this weekend for the eighth annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival.

Karen Fralich, a Canadian citizen and Dan Belcher, a U.S. citizen took home the top prize of $3,000 for their masterpiece “Winter is Coming.”

Helena Bangart of the Netherlands and Fergus Mulvany of Ireland came in second place ($2,500) for “Water Dream.”

And Steve Topazio and Ron MacDonald, both of the United States came in third place ($1,000) for “Reclamation.”

The Sculptors’ Choice award went to Damon Langlois of Canada and Joris Kivits of The Netherlands for “Catalytic Thinking.”

The $1,000 People’s Choice award is still up for grabs, and it’s up to the public to decide who wins. Members of the public can view the sculptures and vote through 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13. Winners will be announced Tuesday at http://www.facebook.com/SiestaKeyCrystalClassic.

This year, the competition drew 12 teams from nations around the world, including South Korea, Canada, Italy, the Czech Republic, Singapore, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, and U.S. states including California, Florida, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island and Texas.

“Every year the festival just gets bigger and better. Staying open in the evenings and lighting the sculptures was a huge success and one that we expect to bring back next year,” said Brian Wigelsworth, Master Sculptor and Sand Coordinator.

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