AIA Sandcastle Competition


Event is free and open to the public
East Beach parking is $15 (CASH ONLY; NO ATM)

Join our mailing list to stay connected and learn more about upcoming events, programs, volunteer opportunities, and ways to be involved in the work of AIA Houston.

East Beach
1923 Boddeker
Galveston, TX 77550

Platinum Bucket Sponsor

Gold Bucket



Kids Zone Sponsor

Partners in Protecting the Environment

Media Sponsor

First Aid Tent Sponsor

Friends of Sandcastle


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 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 in several themed and revolving categories. At the end of the day, everyone goes home with memories of a great day at the beach filled with fun, sand and sun. 

Third Coast Drone for providing us this incredible aerial view of this year’s competition!

2022 AIA Sandcastle Video Captured by Visit Galveston 


For information about the 2023 event click EVENT DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED

If you are interested in entering a TEAM or becoming an EVENT SPONSOR, please contact Ellen Grodjesk.


PLEASE NOTE: 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.