More than a hundred people headed down to South Beach last Wednesday to participate in the fifth annual Sand Sculpture Contest. At stake were a blue ribbon, a cash prize and a lot of pride.

When the four-hour sculpting period ended, five judges made their way down the beach, marking 18 adult sculptures and 15 junior sculptures on the following criteria: originality, details, structural difficulty and overall design.

Janice Donaroma, the event organizer, announced the results to an expectant crowd. After awarding the People’s Choice Award, third place, and second place, she awarded the $60 first-place prize for the junior division, which went to Juliette DuPéré, 10, of Larchmont, N.Y., and LucieDesvallées, 10, of Mamaromeck, N.Y., who also had won the people’s choice.

The girls were ecstatic and ran over to pet their sculpture of a cat, which they had named Sandy. As this was their first year in the competition, they were surprised — and very happy — to win.

The winners of the adult division were a team of five from Westport Island, Me.: Dan, Kayla and Megan Bradford, and Abby and David Smith. Though competing as adults, the team members ranged in age from 12 to 18. They described their sculpture as “a spiral castle with a mermaid.”

“It feels awesome to win! We’re going to split the money and go out to get some ice cream now,” Kayla said of the $75 prize money. The judges and the people agreed again in the adult category, giving Kayla and her team a clear double win.

Although these were the winning sculptures, there were some highly unusual creations in the running, making for tough competition to win the People’s Choice Award. This award was introduced last year and was a way to get more people involved.

“It’s very popular because everyone on the beach can come down and look at the sandcastles and then vote on which one they like the best,” Mrs. Donaroma explained.

Thomas Primavera, 13, of Newtown, Conn., built a very detailed SpongeBob SquarePants figure, using dye to turn the sand bright yellow. “The idea started as a joke, but then we thought it could be a good idea. We’re really hoping for the People’s Choice Award,” he said.

SpongeBob wasn’t the only nontraditional sculpture on the beach: there was an octopus, a couple of maps of Martha’s Vineyard, an ice cream cone, and even a car with a stuffed animal driving it.

Down a little ways from these creations, Lucinda (Sandy Feet) Wierenga of South Padre Island, Tex., was working on an intricate, slightly more traditional castle. Ms. Wierenga is a professional sand sculptor who tours the world making sandcastles. She has come to the Edgartown contest for the past four years, building incredibly detailed castles before ever-larger crowds of spectators.

Ms. Wierenga wasn’t the only returning sculptor. Many of the contestants, like Lindsay Avellino, 12, of N.Y., had participated in the competition in previous years. “We won second place last year and the People’s Choice Award,” she said. Lindsay and her two teammates had been working on their design since the night before, painting shells that they were going to use to decorate their sculpture.

The sandcastles and other sculptures drew big crowds, and even after the contest ended, beachgoers came down to admire the contestants’ handiwork.