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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East Beach
1923 Boddeker
Galveston, TX 77550


Gold Bucket Sponsor

Silver Shovel Sponsor

Bronze Shovel - Public Access Sponsor

Bronze Shovel Sponsor

Educational Boards Sponsor

Print Sponsors

Survey Sponsor

Friends of Sandcastle

Site Selection Event Sponsors

T-Shirt/Material Distribution Party Sponsor

Event image

2023 Sandcastle Competition

August 12, 2023

2023 36th AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition

The 2023 Sandcastle Event is PRESENTED BY




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. 


Check out this incredible aerial view of 2022's competition provided to us by Third Coast Drone!

2022 AIA Sandcastle Video Captured by Visit Galveston 

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


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