New Jersey’s largest sandcastle and sculpting event is coming back to the beaches of Belmar today.

According to the Belmar Tourism Administrator Mary Barbazone, around 500 people participate in the event, and over 10,000 tourists come to check out the sand creations over the course of the day.

Presented by D’Jais Bar and the Belmar Tourism Commission the 26th annual New Jersey Sandcastle contest will take place today on Wednesday July 18th from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

“Belmar is a family friendly place to visit, so many families who are already visiting Belmar love to stop by and admire the sandcastles,” Barbazone said, “Participants love to have fun with the competition, but also take it very seriously. They are always trying to outdo their previous creations.”

Contestants will compete for three place prizes in six individual categories which include, ages 7 and under, 8 to 11, 12 to 15, 16 and up, family and day camps.

All contestants will be considered for the ‘best on the beach’ award as well.

Judged by the Belmar Arts Council, creations are judged on originality, quality of the sandcastle, age appropriateness and the overall impression of the castle.

“A large number of people come to Belmar for this event. It brings in a lot of business and is a great tradition that we hope to continue for many more years,” Barbazone said.

The competition is located at the 18th Avenue Beach and is free to watch. In case of inclement weather, the competition will take place in the same spot on Wednesday July 25th.

Come visit Ray the Prize Guy and the NJ 101.5 prize team from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. as they play music and giveaway fun and exciting prizes.