LIDO BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — From young to old, dozens of aspiring sand architects used just their hands, some water and lots of sand to create a land of towering sand castles and Nassau County’s Lido Beach Tuesday.

As TV 10/55 Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported, the precious sand they shaped and molded into miniature fortresses was brought in this past winter by the United States Army Corp. of Engineers to restore the beach Superstorm Sandy washed away nearly two years ago.

“[We’re] Trying to celebrate a day on the beach and incorporate Lido Beach so we know where we came from,” Seaford resident Joe Sloboda said.

Sloboda and his wife Dianne’s tribute to hard-hit Lido Beach was deemed a winner by judge Andy Gertler, a professional sand castle sculptor who spent hours creating a towering, hobbit-like castle.

“The key is getting the sand really compressed and really wet, then working it from the top down,” Gertler said.

Not all winning contestants had a method in mind other than having fun, Rose reported.

“We really didn’t think about it, we just did it,” another winner, Reese Koerner, said.

Alexander Schachinger-Lynbrook, 11, came with a clear plan to create an imposing castle complex.

“This is like a big tower in the middle with a big city with houses around it,” he said, showing off his construction.

Hallie Ochs, 9, had an assembly line approach to stamping out her numerous, cup-sized towers.

But everyone was a winner, enjoying the beach and sand before the high tide rolled in.

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