A sandsational celebration of Erie culture is underway at the Millcreek Mall. This celebration is highlighting notable aspects of the Flagship City.

Visitors to the Millcreek Mall will be greeted by sculptures of sand this summer that pay homage to notable elements of Erie culture.

“Not just the people who live here can come enjoy it, but also we get a lot of tourists. So for them to come and see all of those iconic things in Erie I think will be very nice,” said Karrie George, Marketing Director of Millcreek Mall.

The celebration consists of 25 tons of sand and will include figures like the U.S. Brig Niagara and the lighthouse from Presque Isle Bay.

“I encourage anyone whose never seen a sculpture like this live that they should really come down and check it our. With the internet, a lot of people see Facebook photos and what have you, but there’s nothing quite like seeing a sand sculpture live,” said Matt Long, Sand Sculptor.

A sand sculptor told us what goes into preparing the sand before the artwork can even begin.

“We brought in 25 tons of sand with a motorized wheelbarrow if you will. We brought that in and we dropped it here then we come in here and we put our forms and then we have to shovel it into the forms. So that’s one whole day of shoveling and with this heavy sand that was a 12 hour day,” said Long.

Once shoveling is complete, sculptors begin the next steps that leads to bringing the art to life.

“We have to have this sand tremendously compacted very tight into blocks of sand. So we spread out forms, these flexible forms and we fill them with the sand, jump in, water, campers, walk it down,” said Long.

Staff of the mall shared how the community has responded to the artwork and they’re expectations for it.

“We’ve had a lot of people who have been coming by every day and watching the progress as it goes. So I think it’s something special for them. It’s something that they may have never seen before,” said George.

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The sculptures will be on display for the next 12 weeks for everyone to view once they are completed Thursday night.