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Sugar Sand & Sunsets at Pier 60: a perfect combination

Clearwater Beach sand Sculpture

This year wasn’t my first Sugar Sand festival, but it was my favorite Sugar Sand festival. It was also the first time I attended the Sugar Sand festival at sunset so I could enjoy the best of Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival at the same time. It’s not easy to get to the beach this time of year (due to large numbers of tourists), but it’s worth it just to see these two festivals working together in perfect harmony.

We arrived early to experience yet another quintessential Clearwater Beach experience: dinner at a beachside café.

Frenchy's grouper santorini
Grouper Santorini at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill on Clearwater Beach.

Then the perfect grouper led into the perfect sunset as we walked down Beach Walk from the Surf Style parking garage to the pier.

sunset over sand dune

life guard station at sunset

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palm trees at sunset

Beach Walk
Beach Walk, with Pier 60 and the Sugar Sand Festival tent in the distance.

As the sun went down, Pier 60 lit up with activity. People crowded around a visiting street performer as he performed various feats of balance, juggling, and fire. This particular street performer came up from Key West specifically for the Sugar Sand festival.

Pier 60 street performer
A Balancing Act
juggling knives
Juggling Knives
unicycle duo web
Three: The number of people it takes to help you onto your ridiculously tall unicycle.
juggling fire
Juggling Fire

With the sun fully down, we excitedly headed over to the sand sculpture tent. This year there was a music theme, with sculptures dedicated to the memory of several great musicians, including a work-in-progress sand memorial to Prince.

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sand scuplture 1 web

scultp duo web

After all the years that I have lived in Florida and all the times that I have visited Clearwater Beach, it surprises me that I can still have a magical experience here. This was magical.

Clearwater Beach’s Sugar Sand festival continues through Sunday, 4/24/2016.


Jennifer Ring

Jennifer Ring is a freelance writer & photographer living in the Tampa Bay area, on Florida’s west coast, home to some of the best beaches in the state.

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