2024 Sandcastle Competition

Event is free and open to the public
East Beach parking is $15 (CASH ONLY; NO ATM)
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East Beach
1923 Boddeker
Galveston, TX 77550
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September 21, 2024
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
East Beach
1923 Boddeker
GalvestonSandcastle, AIA Houston, Galveston, TX 77550

Brought to you by the Sandcastle Competition



The AIA Sandcastle Competition is a fundraising event for AIA Houston and ArCH Foundation as well as one of the top five revenue-generating events for the City of Galveston.

This year the competing teams all have their eyes and shovels set on winning the prestigious Gold 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, Silver Shovel and Bronze Shovel, awards are given for Sustainability, College Challenge, Structural Ingenuity, Team T-shirt and Team Sign.  

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.

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
10:00pm-4:00pm Castle Creation Kid Zone
10:00pm-4:00pm Solar Cooking Demonstration
11:00am | 1:00pm | 3:00pm Sandcastle Building Lessons from a Pro
1:00pm - 3:30pm Public favorite voting
3:00 - 4:30pm Judging
5:00pm Awards

Parking at East Beach Galveston is $15 cash only collected by the Galveston Parks Board. There is no ATM.  There is no Metro bus service, train line, or rapid transit to Galveston or the event. Carpooling is strongly recommended. Allow plenty of time for traffic and parking.

The Site Map will be posted once team registration closes.

If you are interested in entering a TEAM, please contact info@aiahouston.org or becoming an EVENT SPONSOR, please contact Aleks Savitski

AIA Houston does not contract vendors/food trucks for the event.  Any interest in becoming a concessionaire at East Beach should be directed to the Galveston Parks Board.  Click HERE for more information.