Westport Man Creates Eye-Catching Sand Sculptures at Cherry and Webb Beach
If you frequent Westport’s Cherry and Webb Beach in the summertime, you probably have seen a man hunched over a pile of sand, using his hands and his imagination to turn a sand pile into an impressive sculpture. Richard Huggins has been creating sand sculptures for the past 45 years, and it all started with a family trip to the beach.
“I’m a classic Type A person,” Huggins said. He owns his own business and is a self-acclaimed workaholic who has a hard time taking breaks or vacations.
“Forty-five years ago, my wife said we need to take a vacation, or we need to get a divorce,” joked Huggins, so the family packed up and took a vacation to Watch Hill in Westerly.
“I can’t just sit on a beach and do nothing,” he said. “I dug a hole for my kids to play in, and I started looking at the pile of sand left over from the hole, and on a whim, I decided to make a pyramid.”
And so began his new beloved hobby.
As a child, Huggins loved to draw cartoons and was a big fan of Mad magazine. His large imagination that was once brought to life on paper was now being brought to life through sand.
Huggins participated in a professional sand sculpting team, traveling the area and competing in competitions, but for the last eight years, he has enjoyed the solidarity of his own creations at Cherry and Webb.
Over the years, his creations have evolved from a simple pyramid to complex formations, from animals to Viking ships, often taking up to five hours to complete.
You will find Huggins working away on the weekends well through September, or until it’s too cold to bare the oceanfront. After all these years, he continues to find joy out of people watching him work and enjoying his craft.
“I do it for the joy of the sand. I do it because it’s fun," he said. "I’m happy to spread the art form.”
Take a look at some of his favorite sculptures over the last 45 years.