Houston area architects, designers, engineers and contractors have taken their tools to East Beach in Galveston for one huge amateur sand castle competition. The Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) sponsors this annual contest. This year 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 stretch along the beach meticulously sculpting their sand piles and working non-stop for five hours. The judging of the sandcastles is rated on originality of concept, artistic execution of the concept, technical difficulty, carving technique and utilization of the site.
In addition to the Golden Bucket, awards are given in eight different themed categories as well as for best team T-shirt design, best team signage, best costume and public favorite.