AstroWorld themed sandcastle. Image courtesy of AIA Houston. 

For the past 34 years, architecture firms in and around Houston have spent months ideating and developing designs for the Sandcastle Competition.

The contest is a fundraising event for the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Architecture Center Houston Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness of architecture’s influence in Houston’s communities. 

This month, the 34th Annual Sandcastle Competition returns.

Nearly 50 teams are expected to take over the Galveston beachfront and build for five hours in order to win the coveted Gold Bucket Award. The sandcastles are rated on artistic execution, originality, technical difficulty, carving technique and how competitors make use of the beachfront. 

This year’s competition is co-chaired by Sarah Killingsworth and Jeff Briggs of the AIA. Attendees will be able to cast their votes between 1 and 3:30 pm, followed by judging and the final awards ceremony. 

2018 Sandcastle Competition. Image courtesy of AIA Houston. 

The public is encouraged to begin to arrive to watch the competition at 9 a.m. Saturday, August 21. 

Returning Award Categories

  • Best Traditional Castle
  • Best Architectural Icon
  • Greatest Feat of Structural Ingenuity
  • Public Favorite
  • Best Team T-shirt Design
  • Best Team Signage
  • Best Costume 

New for 2021 Award Categories

  • Kidtastic! Nursery Rhymes
  • Texas Pride
  • Pop Culture: Video Games
  • Go for the Gold
  • Animal Kingdom 

 For more information, visit here

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