FAIRFIELD — It was a building extravaganza Saturday afternoon at Penfield Beach when the P.A.L. hosted its annual Sandcastle Competition.

Dozens of kids and families worked together at the free event to construct a creative mélange of items — from sea creatures big and small, to castles and structures that were real and imagined, to interesting and unusual pieces.

“It allows children as young as four and six to have something they can participate in along with the older kids,” noted Michelle Kirschner of Fairfield, “and still get some recognition.”

Prizes were awarded for the most original, most artistic, and most realistic, as well as the best creation in a junior category.

“It brings my family together every year,” said Nicole Bliman of Fairfield, whose family worked together to create a maze that kids were then invited to walk.