BELMAR, New Jersey (WABC) --Experts and up-and-coming artists came out to the annual Belmar Sand Castle Contest on Wednesday.
"This is a turtle family and we brought shells from home," said Marissa, 12 years old.
"I couldn't have more help from my mom or my uncle, but I did all the decorating but they had all the ideas," said Michaela, 9 years old.
"A lot of people were taking pictures, I felt so proud of myself and we didn't make that turtle for nothing, we made it for something," said Gemma, 6 years old.
"It's one of my favorite days of the year; you see the kids having a good time," said Frank Sementa, the owner of D'Jais Bar & Grill. He's hosted the contest the past 25 of its 30-year run.
Sand castles were actually few and far between. There's even a sand depiction of Benny Burger.
"They got here 6:30 in the morning to do that for me, it's awesome!" said Mark Coxson, owner of Benny Burger.
There was also a chariot with wheels made out of sand.
"It was a very hard process, we spent a lot of time tapping them down," the artist said.
So much creativity kept judges re-evaluating.
"This is mermaid tea party," said Charlotte, 13 years old.
"We always came down here and did castles, so like you know what, let's do a half bath," said Andrew Guarrea, of Water Works Plumbing.
Visitors strolled through the artwork for hours, and then hung around for peals of laughter from winners who turned the seaside into a sight to behold.