2023 36th AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition
Saturday, August 12, 2023
Event is free and open to the public
East Beach parking is $15 (CASH ONLY; NO ATM)
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Galveston, TX 77550
Platinum Bucket Sponsor
Gold Bucket Sponsor
Silver Shovel Sponsor
Bronze Shovel - Public Access Sponsor
Bronze Shovel Sponsor
First Aid Tent Sponsor
Educational Boards Sponsor
Kids Zone Sponsor
Friends of Sandcastle
Site Selection Event Sponsors
2023 AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition is PRESENTED BY:
Call 811 - Know what's below. Call before you dig
ABOUT THE 2023 EVENT
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. Competing teams 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 the originality of concept, artistic execution, technical difficulty, carving technique, and utilization of the site. 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 SAND SCULPTURES
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
A list of participating teams can be found HERE
RAIN / INCLEMENT WEATHER
The Sandcastle event will proceed rain or shine. We are always concerned for the health and safety of our participants and guests, therefore only in the event of a natural disaster would the event be canceled. If there are any changes, we will update the information here.
Parking at East Beach Galveston is $15 CASH ONLY. All money is collected by and benefits the Galveston Parks Board. There is no ATM. There is no Metro bus service, train line, or rapid transit to Galveston for the event. Carpooling is strongly recommended. Allow time for traffic and parking.
Owners of vehicles displaying plates or placards with the International Symbol of Access are exempt from parking fees at all Park Board operated parks.
Vehicles with valid license plates displaying:
Congressional Medal of Honor, Former Prisoner of War
Pearl Harbor Survivor
Purple Heart Recipient
Legion of Valor (Air Force Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Army Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross or Medal of Honor)
Legion of Merit
WHERE CAN I PURCHASE FOOD?
East Beach Cantina
Feel free to bring your own picnic: be sure to mind the City of Galveston's rules and regulations governing East Beach. The snack bar is open for business and food trucks will be on site.
For more park information, click here.
WHERE CAN I RENT A CABANA and/or UMBRELLAS?
East Beach Cantina
WHERE CAN I GET A BEACH WHEELCHAIR?
The Galveston Island Beach Patrol and the Galveston Park Board of Trustees want to share the Gulf of Mexico and the beach experience with as many people as possible. But the effects of sand and saltwater on typical wheelchairs is well known. In this spirit, free beach wheelchairs are available at all Park Board-operated beach parks in Galveston.
To obtain a beach wheelchair:
Visit East Beach or Stewart Beach during the normal operating season. (See Hours of Operation).
Ask the gate attendant for a beach wheelchair
Provide a driver’s license to be held until return of the chair
Beach wheelchairs are limited in number and offered on a first-come first-served basis, with no reservations or fees required.
Pets are welcome on leashes.
2023 GALVESTON EAST BEACH RULES
- Glass Prohibited
- Pets Permitted on Leashes
- Clean Up After Your Pets
- Beach Camping Prohibited 12am-5am
- Open Fires Prohibited (BBQ Pits allowed)
- No Propane
- Stay Off Dunes
- Tents and Tarps Permitted in Designated Areas
- Launching Boats Permitted at the beach access point at the end of Apffel Road, west of park
- Hard Bottom Craft (Surfboard, Kayaks, etc.) are Prohibited May 15th thru Labor Day (Permitted West of Park Year Round).
- Fishing Permitted from South Jetty and West of Park
- 4-Wheelers, ATV's, and Dirt Bikes are Prohibited
- The use of Drones or radio mechanically operated devices in the Beach Parks or at the Beaches is strictly prohibited at all times, unless specific written authority is granted by park management in conjunction with the Superintendent of parks where temporary permits may be obtained for a fee of $100 for a 2 hour minimum with the exception of The Park Board of Trustees and The City of Galveston.
BEACH VENDING PERMITS
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.