Friday, Jan 19, 2018
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Our Town Going Out

Napoleon firm preps sandbox for big event at Levis Commons

Chad Hartson is bringing his toolbox to work Friday and Saturday at the Town Center at Levis Commons to construct patriotic icons.

His toolbox doesn't include nails, a hammer, and heavy machinery, but rather a spoon, fork, paint brushes, and clay tools.

Mr. Hartson and his coworkers from Ice Creations in Napoleon will be making the Statue of Liberty, an eagle, Yankee Doodle, and the soldiers at Iwo Jima holding up the American flag. 

On Thursday, they constructed four 8-ton sand forms from which to make the different patriotic items. They also made 30-by-30 foot sandboxes for children to play in Friday and Saturday at Levis Commons during its summer festival called Sand-Tastic.

Mr. Hartson and his company will be putting together different sand sculptors throughout the day Friday and hopefully finishing up Saturday.

"The main difficulty factors are having the right sand," he said. "You want to have the right consistency where there is still clay in it and it doesn't just fall through your fingers, but instead you could make a ball out of it."

The finished work will stay at the Levis Commons Boulevard for a week, with a tent to protect it from weather. Also glue and water is sprayed on the sculptures to help hold the sand in place after they are completed. 

Mr. Hartson said his biggest creation ever was an 50-ton sand elephant, presented at the Toledo Zoo for its elephant Louie's first birthday.

At 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, there will be a sand-sculpting demonstrations at Levis Commons in sandboxes, where sculptors are to teach children techniques and ways of making neat things in the sand. 

From 3 to 6 p.m., there will be a dunk tank to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. At 3 p.m., Rami Sebai, a bartender at Bar Louie, will be in the splash seat, and at 4 p.m. Mike Shannon from radio station Star 105.5 will be in it. It cost $5 for three throws at the dunk tank. Proceeds will go to an Oregon child, who through Make-A-Wish, will go on a Nickelodeon Cruise.

The total two-day event, which also includes live music, horse carriage rides, and chalk art, will cost Levis Commons about $25,000.

"We think this is a way to give back to the community that supports us year round," said Casey Pogan, marketing director of the Town Center at Levis Commons. She said the event last year attracted about 15,000 above a normal two days of shoppers at the outdoor shopping center. She hopes for similar results this year.

Contact Matt Thompson at:, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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