28th Annual AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition

May 31, 2014 – June 1, 2014 all-day
East Beach
1923 Boddeker Road
Galveston, TX 77550
Parking $10 Cash only. No ATM
60 Teams competing in the Annual Sandcastle Competition on East Beach.

60 Teams competing in the Annual Sandcastle Competition on East Beach.

For over two decades teams of architects, designers, and engineers have taken their tools to East Beach in Galveston for one of the world’s largest sandcastle competitions. The Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has been hosting this competition since 1986.

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 A&E The Graphics Complex – A Division of Thomas Reprographics.

This year AIA Sandcastle is helping the City of Galveston break a world record!  Click Here to learn more about our attempt and how you can help!

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. Public favorite voting
  • 11:00am – 7:00pm City of Galveston’s Guinness Book of World Record Recycling Collection
  • 3:00 – 4:30pm Judging
  • 4:30pm Awards Ceremony
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