Sandi tree under construction in downtown West Palm Beach

Tree lighting ceremony will be on Nov. 30

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Get ready, Sandi tree is coming to town!

The 600 ton sandcastle tree is being sculpted right now in West Palm Beach and will make her big debut later this month.

Despite showers this week, sculptors say they've got methods in place to keep Sandi tall and strong.

"We've really taken as much measures as we can in the South Florida weather to try to protect her," said Mary Pinak, the Community Events manager for West Palm Beach.

Workers spent all day on Tuesday filling a wooden mold, which acts like a giant bucket, with sand to build the 35-foot tree.

The key to Sandi's strength is dry, quarry sand from Miami. The sand was just removed a a few weeks ago and shipped in last week.

Now that the shape is built up, sculpting will begin on Wednesday and will take two weeks to finish.

Two years ago, heavy rains nearly washed out Sandi tree's grand opening and ever since, crews have made sure that the sand they're working with is 100 percent dry before packing it down.

"They keep it very dry. And as they build it, they wet the sand down so we can control the moisture in it, almost like a concrete block," explained Pinak.

After the sculpture is completed, crews will spray Sandi down with a concoction of glue and water to give the tree a nice finish. The concoction also gives Sandi more protection from the elements.

Once Sandi is complete, the tree lighting ceremony will take place on Nov. 30. There's also a secret addition to Sandi that organizers are calling her "new love", which won't be revealed until opening night.

"Sandi, when she left last December, she went on her wordly travels, and she fell in love. She's bringing back her new love. We're going to reveal him or her at the tree lighting ceremony," said Pinak.

Expect several smaller sand sculptures, mini golf, Sandi's dressing room games and much more in the plaza.

The city is also planning a new Reindeer Games trivia night coming up December 19.
 

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