All photos by Jarret Liotta

It was the best combination of surf and turf Wednesday afternoon when the Youth Commission hosted its annual sandcastle contest at Weed Beach.

Co-sponsored by M&T Bank, a couple dozen teams of kids took part in a creative collaboration that brought some of the best sand sculptures in town to life.

“I think this is the 13th,” said Alicia Sillars, youth director, who stressed the non-competitive nature of the two-hour “contest.”

“It’s just a fun family event, and low key,” she said. “It’s not about competition. It’s about participation.”

Each team that signed up for the free activity got a bucket to keep, as well as a chance for fun and very low-key competition by the gentle judges.

Kids created sculptures from the big—a six-foot long seahorse was probably the biggest by far—to any number of more moderate sand homes and sculptures.

One pair of brothers—Henry and Charlie MacLane of Darien—apparently planned their sculpture of a shipwreck for weeks in advance, bringing several pieces of wood and debris from home to complete the picture.