Every June, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) sponsors a sand castle-building competition in Galveston that puts all others to shame. On the day of the event, about 80 teams of architects, engineers, and students of these two professions each go to work in their own 22325-foot section of beach. They have just five hours to sculpt their creations. Past exhibits have included towers, walls, characters, monuments, and an assortment of innovative surprises.
The designs have become so complicated and detailed that some teams use large molds, scaffolding, tampers, and tiny clay sculpting tools during the creative process. The results of their painstaking efforts are elaborate, often humorous, eccentric creations that frequently reflect current attitudes.
Many contestants bring blueprints to guide them in the construction of their work. Their creations are judged on concept, artistic execution, technical difficulty, carving technique, and utilization of the site. Additional awards, such as Most Hilarious, Most Lifelike, and Public Favorite, are also given out.
AIA Sandcastle Competition Information
Address: East Beach
Seawall Blvd. and E. Beach Dr
Hours of Operation: First Saturday in June, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
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