2019 AIA Sandcastle Competition

Event is free and open to the public.
East Beach Parking is $15 - Cash Only (no ATM)
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August 24, 2019
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
East Beach
1923 Boddeker Road
Galveston, TX 77550

Brought to you by the Sandcastle Competition

Good afternoon, everyone! Sandcastle is a rain or shine event and is still on schedule. Any changes to this will be posted on the AIA Sandcastle page and FB event page.

This year over 50 teams have their eyes and shovels set on winning the prestigious American Institute of Architects' Sandcastle Competition Golden Bucket Award. Firms begin months in advance generating ideas, developing designs, and assigning duties. On the day of the event the teams, stretched along the beach front, meticulously sculpt their piles of sand and work non-stop for five hours.

The judging of the sculptures is rated on originality of concept, artistic execution, technical difficulty, carving technique, and utilization of the site. In addition to the Gold Bucket, awards are given in several categories including Traditional Castle, Architectural Icon, Kidtastic: Fables & Folklore, Houston-centric, Geometric, Pop Culture: Decades, Marine Life as well as Public Favorite, Tallest Standing Structure, Greatest Feat of Structural Ingenuity, team t-shirt design, team signage, and costume. At the end of the day, everyone goes home with memories of a great day at the beach filled with fun, sand, and sun.

The AIA SandCastle Competition is a fund-raising event for American Institute of Architects Houston and Architecture Center Houston Foundation as well as one of the top five revenue generating events for the City of Galveston. 

The event is underwritten by Thomas Printworks.

Event Day

6:30am Beach opens for teams and sponsors
9:00am Public is encouraged to begin to arrive to watch the competition.
10:00am - 3:00pm Teams compete and build.
1:00pm - 3:30pm Public favorite voting
3:00 - 4:30pm Judging
4:30pm Awards Ceremony

Parking at East Beach Galveston is $15 cash only collected by the Galveston Parks Board. There is no ATM.  ADDITIONAL PARKING WILL BE AVAILABLE AT STEWART BEACH.

There is no Metro bus service, train line, or rapid transit to Galveston or the event. Carpooling is strongly recommended. Allow time for traffic and parking.

Feel free to bring your own picnic: be sure to mind the City of Galveston's rules and regulations governing East Beach.  Visit www.galveston.com/beachparks or call 1.409.762.EAST for more information.  Private team and sponsor tents are not open to the public.

Umbrella Rentals
Reserve your beach umbrella & chairs in advance by contacting Beach Buddies at 409.443.5103.

Please contact East Beach 1.409.762.EAST or visit www.galveston.com/beachparks with questions about beach rules regarding pets.

Please respect the hard work of our participants by not touching any of the sand sculptures even after the event. Many spectators visit the beach the next day, on Sunday, to view and enjoy the sculptures.

If you are interested in particpating in Sandcastle as a team or sponsor please contact Debby Joiner (teams) at debby@aiahouston.org or Aleks Savitski (sponsors) at aleks@aiahouston.org or call 713-520-0155.