HAMPTON BEACH, N.H. (AP) — Sculptors were putting the finishing touches on their masterpieces made of sand at the 15th annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Competition on Saturday.

Sand sculptors from across Canada and the United States were competing for $15,000 in prize money and bragging rights in the “People’s Choice Award” category. The competition began Thursday, with each artist having 21 hours to shape a 10-ton pile of sand into an award-winning sculpture.

“These artists have an extremely high degree of skill,” said event coordinator and master sculptor Greg Grady. “They are continually pushing themselves to the next level.”

An entry in the 2015 Hampton Beach sand sculpture contest. (Image Credit: Lauren Harvey)

An entry in the 2015 Hampton Beach sand sculpture contest. (Image Credit: Lauren Harvey)

Past creations have included mermaids and other mythical creatures, knitting grandmothers, fairy tale characters, giant cats, pirates and hockey goalies.

Judging and voting for the People’s Choice Award was scheduled for Saturday afternoon, with an awards ceremony and fireworks in the evening.

The sculptures will remain on display through July 5 and will be lit for night viewing.

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