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Stories From Main Street: Building A Record-Setting Sand Castle In Point Pleasant

The frame under construction for Ed Jarrett's sand castle in Point Pleasant, N.J. (credit: Ed Jarrett)

The frame under construction for Ed Jarrett’s sand castle in Point Pleasant, N.J. (credit: Ed Jarrett)

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POINT PLEASANT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - Just about every kid has dreamed of it, but Ed Jarrett from Maine is doing it. He’s the king of the castle, the sand castle, that is.

“I did it by accident. I’ve been doing snow and ice carving for many years,” he told WCBS 880′s Sean Adams.

He holds the Guinness World Record for tallest sand castle at 37 feet, 10 inches. That was in 2011 in Farmington, Connecticut.

Following superstorm Sandy, a chat with a friend from the Jersey Shore led him to Point Pleasant.

“When I talked, he couldn’t even talk straight,” Jarrett said. “I mean, the guy was choked. He just could barely get it out. He said, ‘Ed, this place is devastated. I can’t get to my job… I’ve never seen anything like it.’”

On the beach there, he’s shooting for 50 feet and a new record.

A giant wooden frame there looks like a wedding cake and volunteers pass buckets of sand up a scaffold.

Pitching in is teacher Laura Beetle from the Nellie F. Bennett Elementary School.

“This is an opportunity for us to be part of a symbolic rebuilding,” she said.

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Stories from Main Street – Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

RELATED: More Stories From Main Street

All told, there will be 1.6 million pounds of sand.

But it’s not beach sand.

“It’s called fine sand. Some people call it utility sand. They put it around pipes in the ground. So, it actually packs in really hard,” Jarrett said.

As for the packing technique, think Lucille Ball crushing grapes. Every three inches, they wet it down. They call it “squishy feet.”

“I’m having lots of fun,” said 9-year-old volunteer Lauren Geoffrey.

She said the best part of being out there was washing people “doing squishy feet.”

Once it’s packed, it will be as hard as sandstone.

Then Jarrett will make his magic with a trowel and a few clay carving tools.

“I start at the very top and I work my way down,” Jarrett said. “The only fear I have is thunder showers. If we get a lightning strike really close, then you might a little problem with vibration. Other than that, rain doesn’t affect it. Wind doesn’t affect it.”

One side of the castle will be gothic with dragons and a princess.

“And then the other side is going to be a dedication to the New Jersey shore and the storm and we’re going to start at the top with the Barnegat lighthouse, which is Jersey Strong. We’re going to have the Jet Star roller coaster,” he said.

LINK: Ed Jarrett’s Website

Through September, they’ll charge admission with all proceeds going to superstorm Sandy relief.

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