VIRGINIA BEACH - Beachcombers can share their collected treasures from the shore and learn more about naturally polished sea glass this weekend at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
The North American Sea Glass Association will bring its annual national festival to Virginia Beach for the first time this fall. Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday the Virginia Beach Convention Center will host the 7th annual North American Sea Glass Festival. The event draws collectors, artisans, authors and beachcombers from around the world.
Some 60 artists and designers who work with sea glass will show and sell their wares while experienced glass experts will be on hand to help identify and date shards for curious visitors. Lectures relative to beachcombing and sea glass will be presented both days at various times. On Saturday afternoon there will be a Collector of the Year contest and on Sunday the annual “Shard of the Year” contest will award a $1,000 check for the most beautiful and rare piece of sea glass presented for judging. Admission is $5.00 daily with children 12 and under admitted free.
The term “sea glass” refers to pieces of old, discarded glass that have been naturally tumbled and weathered along the shore. Its beautiful frosted patina and range of colors, in addition to the rarity and history of older pieces, have fueled the popularity of sea glass collecting and the use of the shards in jewelry, mosaics and other arts and crafts.
Today’s collectors are also drawn by the ecological allure—recycling at its best—and by its appeal as an outdoor activity that bring families together for generations. Proceeds from the 2012 festival will benefit the Virginia Aquarium, the Old Coast Guard Museum and Friends of First Landing State Park.