First of It’s Kind Sand Sculpting Festival Arrives in Midwest

Story by:Guest Contributor

First posted on 02-27-2008

Shawnee Mission Beach Volleyball (SMBV), Kansas City’s largest recreational beach volleyball facility, will host the first annual Kansas City Sand Sculpting Festival May 17 featuring an amateur sand sculpting contest, how to classes, live music, food and more.

Katie Corning, a professional sand sculptor from Fort Myers Beach, Fla., has been hired to oversee the festival’s contest. Since land-locked Kansas Citians may not be as adept at the skills needed to create a sand sculpting entry, Corning will conduct “Sand Sculpting 101” classes during the weekend for entrants and observers.

Corning is an award-winning master sand sculptor and celebrity competitor on the Travel Channel’s hit show Sand Blasters. As full time owner of Sand Magic Sculpting, she travels extensively teaching her techniques to others and overseeing competitions worldwide.

SMBV partner, Dave MacKay, and wife, Peggy MacKay have observed the wildly popular sand sculpting competition in Florida for years and decided to start a festival in Kansas at their own beach facility. Albeit a much smaller scale, professional sand sculptors work well with Midwest river sand in sculpting projects due to its consistency.

“As one of the largest beaches in Kansas, we thought it would be fun to do something that was a departure from volleyball at least for one weekend of the summer,” says owner Dave MacKay.” “We have tremendous success with beach volleyball leagues nearly every night of the week, and now we’d like to offer a weekend event that is fun for the whole family, is great for local businesses and can be a community spirited festival that creates excitement for the whole city.”

The festival is free and open to the public. To enter the competition, there are four categories: friends and families; businesses; children and art/architecture. Entry fees for sand sculpting teams of up to five players are less than $50 per team (except for children who pay $5 for each child). SMBV will provide the sand and water buckets needed for each team to create their masterpiece. Teams are permitted to bring their own tools.

Registration forms are available online at or at Shawnee Mission Beach Volleyball at 19800 Johnson Drive in Shawnee. Companies interested in being a vendor onsite during the festival or sponsoring the weekend-long event should contact Dave or Peggy MacKay at 913-631-1393.

The festival will include live music, children’s activities as well as food and drinks. The Beach Bar & Grille, onsite at SMBV, serves a variety of menu items including grilled chicken, burgers, homemade quesadillas, pizzas and more. The Beach includes a children’s menu and a full-service bar.

Shawnee Mission Beach Volleyball at 19800 Johnson Drive in Shawnee is located one mile west of I-435 on Johnson Drive and across from the Mid-America Sports Complex. For more information, please visit