2012 Sand Castle Contest in Cannon Beach

Sand castle on Cannon BeachPrincess castle at the Cannon Beach Sand Castle ContestDa Vinci sand sculpture

The broad canvas of Cannon Beach, Oregon has tempted many an amateur sand castle architect, and once a year, sand sculptors gather here to celebrate their art.

You’re invited to join the festivities at the 2012 Cannon Beach Sand Castle Contest over the weekend of June 8 – 10, 2012. Spectators are welcome to watch the sculptors create not only castles, but also sea creatures, international landmarks, scenes from fairy tales, and other impressive expressions of creativity. You can try your own hand at shaping sand by signing up in one of seven sand-sculpting divisions, from “Sand Fleas” (open to anyone under age six) to “Sand Masters” (open by invitation to sculptors who have won awards in previous events).

Sculptors have about five hours to create their works, from 7am to noon on Saturday, June 9, during low tide. At noon, winners in each division will be announced, and by 6pm, high tide will erase the sculptures, so that Cannon Beach once again provides a blank canvas to aspiring sculptors.

Although the sand sculptures are the highlight of the weekend, visitors will find plenty of other activities to keep them busy. On Friday is the Shovels ‘n’ Buckets dinner at Tolovana Inn from 6pm – 9pm, featuring $5 buckets of spaghetti, clam chowder, and salad.

Saturday begins with a pancake feed at the American Legion, followed by the sand castle build on the beach. The United States Coast Guard will stage a flyover at noon. In the afternoon, explore the many art galleries in downtown and midtown Cannon Beach during an Art Gallery Walk from 3pm – 6pm. In the evening, choose from a bonfire on the beach, beginning at 7pm, or a headliner concert at the Coaster Theatre at 7:30pm.

Festivities wrap up on Sunday with a “C’mon It’s Summer!” 5K Fun Run/Walk.

The Sand Castle Contest is one of the premier festivals in Cannon Beach. In spite of drizzly weather last year, over 25,000 people attended. Spectators watched sculptors as they knelt in the sand surrounded by shovels and buckets, gently forming the sand with paint brushes, trowels, and fingers. First prize in the Master’s division went to a sculpture of cartoonish sharks and adorable seals lounging at a “sand bar.”

What fantastic scenes will emerge from the sand this year? Come down to Cannon Beach and find out — or sculpt the answer yourself.

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