Port Angeles: It’s King Kong vs. Godzilla at “Arts in Action”

PORT ANGELES — Blocks from the nearest beach, a giant sand sculpture of Godzilla battling King Kong will take shape this week.

Beginning Thursday, Charlie Beaulieu of Sand Sculpture Promotions based in Illinois and Andrew Briggs of Victoria will carve the 14-foot-tall figures from more than 50 tons of fine, dense sediment in front of the Laurel Street fountain in downtown Port Angeles.

The sculpture will highlight this coming weekend’s Arts in Action, the city’s annual two-day summer street fair sponsored by Nor’wester Rotary Club.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Arts in Action will feature live music, hundreds of classic cars and more than 100 artisans and food vendors showing and selling their wares on Laurel Street between First Street and Railroad Avenue.

Continuous musical entertainment is scheduled, and two car shows are part of the festivities, with the Oldtimers Northwest Car Club’s classic cars on display Saturday and cars from the Peninsula Dream Machines club on the street Sunday.

Downtown merchants are also planning a sidewalk sale both days.

Last year Beaulieu constructed a giant sand castle at the fountain for Arts in Action 2000.

Those attending this year’s street fair will have an opportunity to vote on which of the two battling monsters wins — Godzilla or King Kong.

The sand sculpture is sponsored by Olympic MRI Center, Inc., Windermere Real Estate of Port Angeles and other local merchants.

There will be an area near the fountain where children can build their own sand castles.

Laurel Street will be completely closed for the two-day street fair, and traffic on First and Front streets and Railroad Avenue will be controlled by police.

Arts in Action funds community projects and scholarships sponsored by Nor’wester Rotary.

Steve Zenovic, co-chair of the event, said, “There’s a lot of excitement about this year’s Arts in Action.”

Zenovic said between 350 and 500 classic cars will be on display.

About 200 of those cars will cruise into town Friday night as part of the fifth annual Arts in Action Cruise-In, sponsored by Ruddell Auto Mall.

From hot rods to street machines, the custom cars and trucks will vie with the street fair art for creativity and color.

“They really are pieces of rolling art,” said Mac Ruddell, owner of Ruddell Auto Mall.

The classic car owners used to use the A & W on First Street as their gathering place, but when it closed several years ago Ruddell offered them space at his lot.

It has since become an annual event, timed to coincide with Arts in Action.

Friday night the Ruddell lot will be emptied of new and used cars to make room for the convergence of the car clubs and a community block party-type event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Way Back Machine band from Tacoma will play classic rock from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. A Queen of Angels youth group will sell pop, hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream.

Those attending are also asked to bring canned food donations for the Port Angeles Food Bank.

“Come down and have dinner with us — the activities, the vivid colors and chrome, and the music make this evening a real special event,” Ruddell said.

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