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Mermaids and mythical creatures will occupy the sands and streets of Surfers Paradise this February as the precinct hosts the 2017 Sand Safari Arts Festival.

Sand Safari Arts Festival runs from February 10 to 26 and includes an array of events for the entire family to celebrate the Gold Coast’s sun, surf and sand. The annual festival launches with the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships, which hosts the country’s most talented sculptors as they intricately carve life-sized masterpieces inspired by the theme ‘Mermaids and Mythical Creatures’ from 10 tonnes of sand. Festival-goers can vote for their favourite creation, with the ‘king or queen or the castles’ announced at 4pm on February 12.

The celebration doesn’t end at the beach, with the excitement extending beyond Surfers Paradise with Sand Trail. More than 20 works of sand art will appear in hotel lobbies, libraries and shopping centres from Tweed Heads to Loganholme.

Australia’s Sand Sculpting Champions will be joined by the United Kingdom’s renowned “inflatablist” Luke Egan (aka Filthy Luker), exhibiting his bold, playful and clever inflatable art interventions throughout Surfers Paradise. Known locally for creating the enormous green tentacles that overtook The Islander during Sand Safari 2016, Luke has produced hundreds of innovative sculptures, among them giant squids attacking cities, diversions around huge banana skins and trees accented with oversized googly eyeballs.

Sand Safari is an interactive event with an array of free and fun activities for families and children including sand art and workshops on the beachfront. A series of sand and sea-inspired art, from bold murals and inspiring

photography to pop-up galleries, will feature throughout the Surfers Paradise precinct to provide more opportunities for discovery and wonder.

Sand Safari 2017 is a wonderful opportunity to rediscover Surfers Paradise, while experiencing the precinct’s retail offerings, restaurants, cafés and family-friendly attractions that form the Gold Coast’s sixth theme park.

Visit www.surfersparadise.com

Words: Nicholas Grech

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