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Sandcastles: More Than Playing on the Beach?

Jul 31, 2014 08:33AM ● By Paul Spear
When is building a sandcastle more than a few kids playing on the beach? When some 70,000+ locals come out for a great time at the beach with their friends, neighbors and new friends to raise money for good causes at the same time.

The event? It's the IB Sun and Sea Festival with a variety of events for everyone.

This year's event kicked off July 18th with the 2014 Sandcastle Ball which honored the Port of San Diego's 50-year anniversary. That Saturday was about the kids starting off with a parade and moving on to Kidz n Kastles where the little ones were given guidance from amateurs and professionals while building their own sandcastles.

Then it was time for the professionals to have their turn with the U.S. Sandcastle Open. Most teams are local but there are teams that travel here every year to compete.
But this wasn’t all about sandcastles. As mentioned, we now have a parade, pancake breakfast and a Sandcastle Ball starting off the event the night before. We’ll be expanding on those soon. By the way if you have any pictures from any of these events, please feel free to send them in with any information you can provide.
Probably the oldest sandcastle team in Imperial Beach is the IB Posse. The event started in 1980 and a little boy watched his father, Leonard Gonzales, Sr. join his boyhood friend, Mike Brindle in building sandcastles.

With his excitement from the sidelines growing each year as he watched his father and friend, at the age of 18 in 1984, Leonard Gonzales Jr. was old enough to join his father's team, which later became known as the IB Posse.

The IB Posse grew to reach 10 people which is now the size limit for a team.

At this year's Sandcastle Event there were two class groups. GROUP A (Professional) had about 5 or 6 teams while Group B (Amateur) had two teams. This year's winner was the IB Posse with an awesome sandcastle.
In 2011, the event came to an end because it was no longer considered a safe event for families, and the cost for the sheriff to patrol jumped into the area of $90,000 or so, according to locals, killing the profit for our kids and leaving a lot of people unhappy.
This starts the next part in our series of how key IB citizens and businesses, the Port of San Diego and the City of Imperial Beach all got together to get the event restarted in 2013, and its tremendous growth of the 2014 Sun and Sea Festival at which well over 70,000+ people came out to enjoy a great summer day at the beach with their children, family and friends. 


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