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Southeast : URBAN DUNES

August 10, 1995

Long Beach offers a real beach, with sand and everything. Nonetheless, the organizers of the Evian Open, part of the Coors Light Women's Professional Volleyball tour, wanted more. So they ordered 400 tons of sand and had it delivered to a makeshift beach on the Long Beach Promenade, just yards from the real thing.

The intent was to focus attention, and media cameras, on the city skyline, which surrounds the new urban sandbox, promoters said. And that explains why Long Beach was willing to use its own equipment and crews to move the donated sand into position.

In its third year, the Long Beach leg of the tournament this weekend will boast some of the nation's top players, says Roger Gilliam, acting director of the Downtown Long Beach Assn. He promises the downtown dunes, dumped into a nearby parking lot, won't interfere with the city's weekly farmers market, held at a different spot on the Promenade.

"People can get their food and then go sit in the stands," Gilliam said.

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