NORTH ADAMS -- Get out your pails and your shovels -- or your dancing shoes.
The 14th annual Eagle Street Beach Party and the third annual Mexican Fiesta will take over Eagle Street, between Center and Main streets, on Friday, when 250,000 pounds of sand donated by Specialty Minerals is spread from curb to curb.
The double event begins at 3:30 p.m. with the annual beach party, a summer staple that began as the brainchild of local artist Eric Rudd, who created the event in 1999 as a way to bring community sculpture into the downtown.
"I think it's been so successful because people still think it's fun to see a street covered with sand," Rudd said Monday. "People enjoy the beach, and all we're doing is putting the beach in the middle of the city."
However, he said the event is only possible with the help of volunteers.
"We're really looking for volunteers to show up at 1:30 p.m. to shovel sand," Rudd said. "We'll provide the shovels. Even if people can only stay for 10 to 15 minutes, the help is appreciated."
From 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., attendees are encouraged to create sand "sculptures," competing for prizes provided by the Eagle Street merchants, including gift certificates from Jack's Hot Dog Stand, Adams Community Bank, Desperado's, Persnickety Toys, Martha Flood Design Studio, Clarksburg Collectibles, Village Pizza, Kim's Cuts, Mia's Exchange, Supreme Pizza and Wings, The Party Place, Klipper Kingz and
No artistic experience is necessary to win a prize, and although prizes will be awarded primarily to children, there will also be prizes awarded to groups of children, families and individual adults. Food color is acceptable to color the sand, but no spray paint will be allowed. Beach attire is recommended.
As a special treat, Mildred Elley-Pittsfield Campus has donated 250 sand pails and shovels -- free for all participants to use and keep. Adams Community Bank will be giving away beach balls.
Additionally, Adams Com munity Bank and Smith Watson & Co. are sponsoring the entertainment, with music by Misguided, for both events.
Following the completion of the family-friendly beach party, the street will be reset for the adult "Mexican Fiesta," from 7 to 10 p.m.
"We started the fiesta in 2010 as a way to take advantage of the sand and extend out the event for adults," said organizer Keith Bona, a board member of Develop North Adams.
He said the event comes at very little cost to the city.
"The sand is already there and anything else is up to the businesses who set up; what they put out and sell is up to them," Bona said. "In the future, we'd like to extend out the use of the sand to a full weekend event, with an entire day featuring another event."
Desperado's will once again serve up margaritas and Corona beer and offer Mexican food. In addition, Jack's Hot Dog Stand, Supreme Pizza, and Wings and Village Pizza will also have items for sale.
IDs will be required for the purchase of alcohol, which will only be permitted on the sand.
Both events are smoke-free, as the sand will be transferred to the beach at Windsor Lake and to area playgrounds following the events.
For more information, contact the Mayor's Office of Tourism and Culture at 413-664-6180 or by email at email@example.com.
14th annual Eagle Street Beach Party
What: 250,000 pounds of sand spread curb-to-curb on historic downtown Eagle Street. Prizes for sand sculptures; limbo contest; music and free pails and shovels for first 250 children. Free.
When: Friday, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
3rd Annual Mexican Fiesta
What: Adults-only Mexican-themed beach party on Eagle Street, following the beach party. Margaritas and other alcoholic beverages, along with food, will be for sale. ID required. Music by Misguided.
When: Friday, 7 to 10 p.m.