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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 beachfront - 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, awards are given in several categories (coming soon!). At the end of the day, everyone goes home with memories of a great day at the beach filled with fun, sand, and sun.
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 $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.
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. To see park information, click here. Private team and sponsor tents are not open to the public.
Reserve your beach umbrella & chairs in advance by contacting Robbie Carnes at East Beach Cantina and Rentals - (409) 974-5671
Pets are welcome on leashes.
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.