BELMAR - The annual New Jersey Sandcastle competition in Belmar drew more than 30,000 visitors Wednesday.

The 18th Avenue Beach was turned into a a unique gallery of art. Creations included a snow man made out of sand and a pumpkin.

The sand sculpting contest bills itself as New Jersey's largest for the last 26 years

It's a free competition open to participants of all ages. No beach badges are required for those creating or those there to enjoy the sights.

There are three prize places awarded in six individual categories. There's also an award for "best on the beach."

The judging criteria is based on creativity, resourcefulness, originality and accessories.