U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- The annual U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition is scheduled to open Friday at Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego.

The four-day event will pit master sculptors from around the United States and some foreign countries against each other.

Included in the field are 2016 grand prize winner Ilya Filimontsev of Russia, 2015 victor Melineige Beauregard of Canada, and competitors from Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea and Spain -- as well as the U.S.

On Monday, 300 tons of sand from an East County quarry was trucked onto the pier and dumped so the sculptors could begin their projects in private. When the gates open, they're expected to be about halfway done.

Competitors in the World Masters Class are scheduled to be finished by Saturday at 7 p.m. Judging will take place Sunday, with an awards ceremony scheduled for 5 p.m. that day.

The works will remain on display on Monday, according to organizers.

Tickets are available online via the event website at ussandsculpting.com. Costs range from $7-$9 Friday, and $9-$13 over the weekend. VIP packages are also available.