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After COVID hiatus, beach party returning to downtown street in North Adams

The 2019 Eagle Street Beach Party in North Adams, Massachusetts.
Eric Rudd
The 2019 Eagle Street Beach Party in North Adams, Massachusetts.

After a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19, a street in downtown North Adams, Massachusetts, will once again be the site of a beach party this weekend. That's after city dump trucks deliver hundreds of tons of sand.

Local artist Eric Rudd is the creator of the Eagle Street Beach Party, which started in 1999.

Rudd calls the event a community sculpture and said he originally envisioned it as a way to help merchants by bringing people to an area that was struggling. Since then, he said the beach party has evolved.

"Hundreds and hundreds of kids come with their parents and we try to give prizes not just for the best sand sculptures, but just participation," he said.

Rudd says the 25 truckloads of sand are donated by a local company and spread by volunteers.

For one night, the temporary beach will become the site of what Rudd called a Mexican fiesta designed for grown-ups. `

After the event is over, the city of North Adams will haul the sand away and save it for re-use.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education, and politics. Working with correspondent Morley Safer, he reported from locations across the United States as well as from India, Costa Rica, Italy, and Iraq.