| The Nativity Sand
Sculpture display was an offshoot of the already well established
summer show presented each June on the Jesolo Lido.
2003-04 was second edition of this winter show.
In the summer, the premier Italian sand event runs for six weeks and is known as Castelli Di Sabbia.
In the charter year of Castelli Di Sabbia, (1998), when pro sand sculpture was introduced in Italy, it was at the Jesolo lido, in Venice county, where the seeds of this fine event were sown.
Even then, the executive producers of the show, Francesco Calzavera (now the mayor of Jesolo) and Dr. Massimo Ambrosin, both on behalf of the city of Jesolo, under the auspice of then Mayor Renato Martin, wanted to foster the burgeoning event and grow it into a true jewel in the crown of pro sand sculpting events happening around the world. With the experience of Rich Varano, director of this fine event, and owner of Sultans Of Sand Worldwide to help guide them, the forward direction and growth of the event was assured. The event is now well ensconced as one of the most fine assemblages of working master sand sculptors anywhere on the planet. Varano suggested early on that a Nativity display during the Christmas holiday season would be a popular attraction, and Ambrosin & company agreed in theory. Even though that time of year is well off-peak tourist season, in 2002 the idea was put to the test with the first edition of the Nativity, and it proved to be a smash success.
The summer show, Castelli Di Sabbia, being such a grand success in the five years since its inception, has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Jesolo Lido each summer. The event features an international Masters level invitational competition which has now been relegated to a less formal and non-competitive exhibition of top sand carvers from around the world. The event also hosts the annual children's workshop of sandcastles 101, and the wildly popular children's contest.
Under the colossal big top tent that houses the exhibition, There is also a photographic exhibition of the pro sand sculpture phenomena occurring at Jesolo since 1998, and a merchandising outlet.
|However, the run of the summer show being at peak high season, and in spite of the fact that it is open day and night, the organizers received many comments that most locals were always either working, or involved with the busy schedules of their home life activities so much as to not be able to make it to see the event site during the month long display. So, the winter show, or Presepe (The Nativity) was instituted by the city government to give something back to the local community. Jesolo in the off season is a much less frenetic environment than it is in the summer. At such a relaxed time of year, the residents are seen and recognized easily in their daily routines. In this slower paced off season, the locals are not lost in the throngs of visiting tourists as is typically the case in high season at Jesolo. Much the same as other coastal resort areas around the world.||Italy, being a predominately Catholic society, and due to the cultural tradition there, of family outings on the weekends, lends further to the Nativity sand sculpture display being so hugely successful in terms of numbers of viewers in attendance during the six week run of the show. Not only the locals, but day trippers from outside the immediate area as well, come to view the works. In fact, literally so, in droves. Around Christmas and New Years, there are a large number of official (bank) holidays. This equates to more available off time for many Italian workers who may go on outings or weekend stays to Jesolo. Ostensibly, to see the Nativity sand sculpture, thus bringing commerce into the area at a time when many shops would normally be closed, - but are now opened for business. Visitors to the Nativity come from distant regions of Italy as well as all over southern Europe . As this winter event becomes more well known, in the future, the (slower) season is bound to become more of an economic boon to the local merchants.|| The City government is still
the main sponsor of this -and all pro sand events in Jesolo, which
means they bear the brunt of the expenses for these events. But, the
shows they present are still of the very highest caliber being produced
in sand anywhere in the world. They care enough to bring the very
finest talent available to their city to show works that astound and
captivate the imagination of people young and old. As such, Jesolo has
become recognized as a destination to visit from near and far for high
quality family entertainment in the form of the unique and mesmerizing
medium of sand sculpture, twice each year.
Visit the Jesolo web site English version
The line at the Nativity at the first edition in 2002 -03. Note the clear plastic (heated) tent that houses the event will be almost twice as big in 2003-04.
The Sultans Of Sand Worldwide would like to acknowledge the generosity of the city government in providing this fine form of artistic entertainment to the general public, and thank them for continuing to include the Sultans Of Sand in their philanthropic endeavors supporting and promoting this unique medium of art..
~Rich Varano, Jesolo, November 23. 2003