AIA Sandcastle

Saturday June 4, 2016

Please visit us here for the current updates to this year's event. Thank you.

East Beach
1923 Boddeker
Galveston, TX 77550

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Event Underwriter


Gold Bucket



Educational Boards Sponsor

Friends of Sandcastle

Media Sponsor

Event Info

The AIA SandCastle Competition is a fund-raising 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 over 60 teams have their eyes and shovels set on winning the prestigious 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 Golden Bucket, awards are given in several categories including Best Traditional, That's Entertainment, Most Complex, Stars & Stripes, Best Architectural, Most Hilarious, Most Lifelike/Realistic as well as best team t-shirt design, best team signage, best costume, and public favorite. 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 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 $10 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 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 or call 1.409.762.EAST for more information.  Private team and sponsor tents are not open to the public.


Please contact East Beach 1.409.762.EAST or visit 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 Mat Wolff at or 713-520-0155.