Four-year-old Jacob Dubrow used all the strength he could muster as he carried a shovelful of sand to a tall green bucket.
The boy from Ocean Shores was hard at work building a sand creation, inspired by the 13 sculptures he saw at the Hands On Children’s Museum Sand in the City event Friday.
The annual event continues through Sunday.
“It’s great, just an awesome event,” said Jacob’s father, Marcus.
He and his wife, Cora, brought their five children to the museum from Ocean Shores. The new museum had not opened by this time last year.
“The whole museum, compared to what we had before, is a monumental change,” Dubrow said. “The brilliance is the water stream.”
Hundreds of kids and adults played in the outdoor water feature, snacked on vendor food and got their faces painted as 13 teams were hard at work building their sand creations.
Scenes from “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Despicable Me” were coming to life under a 3 p.m. Friday deadline.
The event averages 12 to 15 teams each year, raising around $100,000 for the museum’s free and reduced admission program.
About 250,000 visit the museum each year, with around 100,000 taking advantage of the free and reduced admission program, according to Patty Belmonte, the museum’s executive director.
The Boys & Girls Club of Thurston County was among the teams, spending the few remaining hours Friday cleaning up the sand surrounding a “Despicable Me” scene depicting Gru and minions at a bowling alley.
The 22 team members had been hard at work since 7:30 a.m.
“We always try to do kid-friendly pieces,” said Lynnette Beaber, administrative assistant at the Boys & Girls Club.
The team won last year’s Young at Heart Award for their “Angry Birds”-inspired structure.
The weather was more favorable Friday than it was a year ago.
“It’s a lot of hard work — all sand and water and making sure you have the right consistency,” Beaber said. “We have had a few years of either rainy or scorching (weather), but today was perfect.”
Eleven-year-old Vegas Rohaly of Olympia was among the team members, putting her mark on a spiky-haired minion.
“It takes patience,” Vegas said. “Having a lot of patience.”
That’s one trait Vegas said she doesn’t have, but the pros outweighed the lack of patience.
“You get to get dirty and not get in trouble,” Vegas said.