Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Bourgas launched its sixth consecutive festival of sand sculptures last month when it was officially opened with a spectacular live show. The festival is located on a site near the north beach of the city and continues to be a major tourist drawcard since it was opened, raising the possibility that the sculptures could beat the record 120 000 visitors set in 2012.
The now traditional annual sand sculpture festival which was first established in 2008 is a must-see, with enormous sand sculptures made from a special mix of sand and clay which isn't affected by the rain. Worldwide artists from 9 countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Ireland, Indonesia, Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria have created sculptures using around 3500 tons of the special sand with some of the masterpieces over 8 metres tall. Special night lighting and security complement the unique charm of this "city of sand".
The festival is expected to attract thousands more Bulgarians and foreign tourists spending their vacation on Bulgaria's southern Black Sea coast before it ends on September 30th or the beginning of October if the weather is favourable. The theme for this year's sand sculpture festival is "famous names" and visitors to the festival will be able to see sculptures of internationally renown figures both past and present including Quentin Tarantino, Charles Darwin, Steve Jobs, Khan Krum, The Beatles, Einstein and Lady Gaga.
Entrance fees for visitors to the festival are 3 leva (£1.30) for adults, 1 lev (£0.44) for pensioners and children.
Below is the official video from the festival showing the spectacular opening show:
Location of the festival: