There is a special place in my heart for Revere Beach. Among my earliest memories are summertime visits to the magical place. For folks who are not from the area as well as locals not old enough to remember, the beach was Boston's answer to Coney Island. (Fun Boston-area fact: Established in 1896, Revere Beach is America's first public beach.)

While I enjoyed swimming and frolicking on the sand, I was especially fascinated by the amusements that lined the ocean boulevard. Even as a toddler, I would sit for hours enthralled by the Cyclone roller coaster, the double Ferris wheel, and the other rides. It kindled a lifelong passion for amusement parks that continues to this day. Sadly, all of the amusements are gone at Revere Beach (as is the case with many seaside parks), although the beach itself is still quite popular.

It will be especially popular starting July 19 when the National Sand Sculpting Festival kicks off. At past events, I've been amazed by the skills of the artists and the sheer scale of their sculptures. We're not talking about your average castle fashioned out of a few pails of sand. We're talking about wildly inventive, detailed, and massive sculptures of people, mermaids, landmarks, and other subjects that you wouldn't think could be crafted out of sand. 

In addition to the sculptures, there will be fireworks, gourmet food trucks, and live entertainment. Artists will be on hand to provide sand sculpting lessons for children as well. While they won't be the same as the amusements of yore, a traveling carnival will give kids of all ages the chance to enjoy rides amid the ocean breezes. Consider making a day of it and enjoying the wonderful beach. Be sure to take note of the glorious period bandstand and pavilions, which date back to the early 1900s. If you listen carefully, you may hear echoes of the screaming passengers aboard the rickety wooden Cyclone coaster.

10th Annual Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival
Friday to Sunday, July 19 to 21, 2013
Fireworks are planned for Saturday, July 20 at 9 p.m.
Driving to and parking at the festival can be dicey. Consider taking public transportation. There is a Revere Beach stop on the Blue