Cannon Beach, Oregon, will host its 53rd annual Sandcastle Contest Saturday, June 17, the oldest competition of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and the most popular event in this Oregon Coast town. Dozens of teams of professional sand sculpture artists, amateur groups and families will construct remarkable creations in the sand during the event. The Masters division teams compete for cash prizes and construct large, elaborate creations often utilizing construction forms similar to those used for pouring concrete in order to accomplish their monumental size.
Although the sand sculpture contest on Saturday is the highlight of the weekend, visitors will find plenty of other activities to keep them busy. Weekend activities include the Sandcastle Parade on Friday afternoon, a beach bonfire with live music from Thistle & Rose on Saturday evening and the Singing Sands 5K fun run and walk on Sunday morning. Judging of the sandcastles begins at noon on Saturday, making 11am-2pm the best time for viewing the completed sculptures. The tide will determine how long the sculptures last.
In 2014, the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest was recognized as an Oregon Heritage Tradition by the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department, making it one of just 11 events statewide to achieve such a designation. An Oregon Heritage Tradition is an event with broad public appeal, with at least 50 years of continuous operation and that contributes to the identity of the state.
Make lodging reservations early for this popular weekend as hotels typically sell out all rooms in advance. Day-trippers should plan on arriving early. The Sandcastle Contest is the only day of the year when the beach is used for parking to accommodate the large crowds. For information on the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest or information on how to participate, contact the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce at (503) 436-2623. For lodging information, visit cannonbeach.org.