25th Annual AIA Sandcastle Competition

All events are subject to change due to weather or other concerns. Please check with the venue or organization to ensure an event is taking place as scheduled.

For the past 25 years in the first weekend of June, Houston area architects, designers, engineers and contractors have taken their tools to East Beach in Galveston for what is considered one of the world’s largest amateur sandcastle competitions.

The Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) sponsors this annual contest. This year, 54 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 costum, and public favorite. At the end of the day, everyone goes home with memories of a great day on the beach filled with fun, sun, sand and sea.

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.- Sandcastle Building
3 - 4:30 p.m. - Sandcastle Judging
4:30 - 5 p.m. - Awards Ceremony

Event Details



City of Galveston East Beach
1923 Boddeker Rd.
Galveston, TX 77550


Ticket Info

Admission is free