A car, an octopus, and even a castle or two dotted the Weed Beach landscape Wednesday as young locals turned out for the Darien Youth Commission's sandcastle building contest.
The event marked the final installment in the commission's popular family concert series. Twenty-three teams took part, more than in any of the previous three annual contests.
Most teams consisted of family, friends, or a combination of the two, while the rare individual opted to build alone.
The event was co-sponsored by TD Bank, which helped setup and register participants, judge the contest, and hand out prizes.
"They are an incredible community-oriented organization that is a strong presence at youth events in town," said Alicia Sillars, Youth Director of the DYC.
As Sillars stressed, the event was casual—not hotly contested. Still, each group put quite a lot of energy into perfecting its castle.
"We wanted to make an awesome fortress," said Quinn Hagen. And that they did: Team Hagen, which also included Quinn's siblings Audrey and Noah, won first place.
Team Bravo, which included Nathalie and Dylan Bravo and Sammee and Kasey Mazzone, earned second place for their innovative octopus-shaped sand formation. Team Swift was awarded third place for their large star-shaped creation.
Winners received gift cards to Uncle's Deli and toy bubble-makers, while frisbees were given to all participants.
"It was a great way to celebrate the end of school and the beginning of summer," said parent Debbie Medwal. Her son's entry—a race car-shaped castle—was one of the more original designs. Other designs featured moats and used buckets, castle molds, and seashells as building tools.
After the winners were announced, contestants relaxed to a performance by Jeffrey Friedberg and The Bossy Frog Band. A screening of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs also followed.
Last night concluded the commission's annual family concert series. Annie and the Natural Wonder Band played on June 16, and Dre Towey and Friends played June 23.
"The concert series has been so well-received that people were calling my office in May wondering when it would start back up again," Sillars said.
Weed Beach Park is also set to host several events for the Darien Summer Nights Concert Series.