Ever visit the beach only to stumble upon a piece of land that has been turned into one of the largest sand castles you’ve ever seen? Professional sand castle competitions bring the sport of shovel and bucket castle making to an entirely new level. Beaches world wide host annual sand castle competitions, where some of the most incredible professional artists on the planet compete to see who can turn our beaches into the most amazing dream creation. Make sure you add one of these competitions to your list of things to see this year.
World Champion Sand Sculpture Competition
The World Champion Sand Sculpture Competition is held in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada each September. This competition is not for the weak at heart, only open to those who have either participated in a handful of select competitions in North America or who have somehow attained the appropriate level of sand sculpting experience.
Each sculptor is given a wooden form into which he has to shovel his own sand and water in order to form the block he will begin with. Sculptors begin at the top and remove the forms one at a time until they reach the bottom of the sculpture. This allows the base to remain protected as they work down, and gives the artist something to stand on while working up high. The sculptures created during the World Championship stay on display for a full month – that is, of course, as long as Mother Nature agrees to it!
Myrtle Beach Open Sand Sculpting Competition
The Myrtle Beach Open Sand Sculpting Competition is held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and will take place in August this year. Approximately 20 professional competitors will carve uniquely designed sculptures into the sand and compete for prizes totaling in excess of $10,000. A secondary competition is held towards the end, where amateurs are welcome to compete as well. Sand sculpting classes are offered on the beach throughout the entire summer.
Annual Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest
The Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest is held on Cannon Beach Oregon each June. The competition was founded in 1964 by a group of locals who were looking for a new and exciting way to keep their children occupied and entertained. The idea took off, and today the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest is one of the largest and most popular on the West Coast of the United States. There are varying levels of competition, broken down by age group. The first 150 participants to register have just about five hours to complete their creations. Visitors enjoy more than just sandcastles, as there are dozens of other activities to participate in while the sculptors work. Everyone enjoys a free concert at the end of the day!
U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition
The U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition can be found each July in Imperial Beach, California. It is advertised as the largest competition in the United States and takes place over the course of a three-day festival.
This year the event will begin on Friday, July 11, with a casual ball. On Saturday, July 12th, visitors will be able to stroll along the beach and visit with hundreds of vendors while children compete in the Kids’ n Kastles Competition. The formal U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition will be held on Sunday, July 13th.
Castle building begins at 8:30 am and must be completed by 1:30pm. Sadly, the tide will wash away the sculptures by 4:00pm. The winner will be titled “Master’s Champion” and everyone will be in competition for over $21,000 in cash prizes!
The Annual Port Aransas Sand Sculpture Contest, also known as Texas “SandFest,” is held each April in Port Aransas, Texas. People from all over the world have been known to attend this festival in order to complete for the Master’s prize of $2,000. There are a series of divisions for Masters working solo, Masters working with a partner, Professional Amateurs, and Amateurs.
For an entire week before the festival, all of the participants work on a 250-ton sand sculpture that ends up being the centerpiece for the contest. The festival officially takes place that weekend, with three days of sculpting and entertainment.
This event is no joke, with major names such as Tori Amos, J.T. Colefire, and Larry Joe Taylor stopping by to participate in the festivities! They even have a pet tent and contest so that your four legged friends aren’t left out!
The Pizza Expo Sandtennial
The Pizza Expo Sandtennial is held in Las Vegas, Nevada, which hardly seems like the proper venue for a sand castle competition, but there’s a method to the madness. If there’s bad weather, the sculptures won’t be ruined, as they’re sheltered by the Las Vegas Convention Center! Participants start by contributing to a 20-ton group sand carving and then break off to attack their own 10-ton pile of sand. They have a mere 15 hours to turn that pile of sand into a unique and artistic sculpture. The first place winner will receive at least $3,000 – not a bad deal at all for playing in the sand!
Each of these contests is unique in its own right. Master and professional sculptors spend hours at a time creating genuine works of art. Make sure you fit a sandcastle competition, even if just a small local event, into your summer schedule this year – you won’t be sorry!