Towering Sandcastles on display at Galveston’s East Beach

Galveston Park Board Extends AIA Sandcastle Event for Viewing and Sandcastle Lessons

On Saturday, Aug. 21, more than 60 teams will converge on East Beach to build gigantic sandcastles during the annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Sandcastle Competition. This year, spectators will be able to view the structures on Sunday and take advantage of free sandcastle building lessons, too!

For the 34th year, members of the Houston Chapter of the AIA will hit the sand and build for five intense hours as they fight to maintain the structural integrity of their sculptures. The competition is considered one of the world’s largest amateur sandcastle competitions and draws thousands of spectators to watch teams vie for the coveted Golden Bucket Award.

Due to the late afternoon finish, the Galveston Park Board is working to help teams maintain their sandcastles overnight. This way beachgoers can take in these architectural marvels throughout the day on Sunday. The organization is also offering free sandcastle building lessons in conjunction with the sandcastle viewing.

“We think this is a great opportunity for families to see these awesome structures up close and avoid the crowds,” Galveston Park Board Chief Executive Officer Kelly de Schaun said. “And, budding sandcastle builders will get the chance to work with a professional to learn how to build their own.”

The sandcastle lessons will take place at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. and will be led by Emerson Schreiner, a sandcastle building veteran and owner of Galveston-based Sandy Feet Sand Castle Services. The lessons will take place near the East Beach Pavilion. Participants are encouraged to bring their own sand buckets and shovels. Registration is not required.