Levis Commons brings beach to the boulevardWritten by Kathryn Milstein | | email@example.com
The last thing you would expect to see in a shopping plaza in Perrysburg is a pile of sand, but July 7-9 the sandbox will be at Levis Commons.
“We’re bringing the beach to the boulevard,” said Casey Pogan, the marketing director for The Town Center at Levis Commons.
Sand-Tastic! at Levis Commons, is free and open to the public. It will be open daily from noon to 8 p.m. and include a community sandbox.
From 1-1:45 p.m. each day, Chad Hartson, owner of Ice Creations, and his team will provide hands-on sand-sculpting demonstrations.
The team will create three 8-ton sand sculptures during the course of the event.
The sculptures will be on display at the commons during the week following the event.
On July 8, there will be a Luau at Bar Louie at 6 p.m. for those 21 and older, with Luke James performing.
July 9 is family-friendly fun from noon to 6 p.m., with inflatable bounce houses, face painting, a “bubble foam” party and a water squirt tent, Pogan said.
She expects between 5,000 and 10,000 people for this first-time event. Last year, the commons only had the sandbox.
If the event is successful, the center will make it annual.
The only activity that will require a fee is a sand art project for kids, she said. The money will be donated toward Autism research.
Mercy, a sponsor of the event, will host a reunion July 9 in the community sandbox for former Mercy Autism Services participants, Pogan said.
An amateur sand-sculpting contest will be from noon to 3 p.m. with preregistration online.
Hartson is providing the 2-square-foot block of sand and tools for each contestant, which he said could be “just about anything found in a garage or kitchen”, including spoons, shovels and painter’s knives.
“The tools are pretty much the only difference between making an ice sculpture and a sand sculpture,” he said. “We use a little bit of everything to do the sand sculptures.”
He said Sand-Tastic is a great opportunity for Ice Creations to sculpt sand locally, which has not happened since Louie’s second birthday party. Louie is an 8-year-old elephant at the Toledo Zoo.
Hartson said he will be sculpting all three days regardless of weather.
“Everything’s going to be tented, so we’ve already planned for if it does rain or not,” he said. “Obviously, we really hope it doesn’t rain, but if it does, the sculptures and everything are covered.”
The Toledo native, who has created sand sculptures mostly in Indiana and Michigan for the past six years, said the sculptures will be a big draw for the Levis Commons shoppers.
“I’ve been working, trying to do something in this area,” he said. “It’s something people in this area don’t really see unless they drive to the beach.”
Pogan said the sculptures and sand will make Levis Commons feel like going to the beach during summer.
“It’s going to be a really fun event, and it’s geared toward people of all ages,” she said. “I have a 3-year-old daughter who I know I will not be able to get out of the sandbox and bounce house.”