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Shovels at ready for sandcastle contest

Contest headed to Cannon Beach June 8-10

Published on May 10, 2018 12:58PM

The Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest enters its 54th year.

Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce

The Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest enters its 54th year.

Busy at work at the sandcastle contest.

Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce

Busy at work at the sandcastle contest.

Epic construction at the 2015 sandcastle contest.

Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce

Epic construction at the 2015 sandcastle contest.


The Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest takes place the weekend of June 8-10. 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.

A tsunami is credited with being the genesis of the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest. An earthquake in Alaska in March of 1964 created a tsunami wave that washed ashore on the North Coast. The city’s downtown suffered from flooding and the Ecola Creek bridge was washed away. Local residents got together that summer to put on a community sandcastle contest to raise spirits. Recognizing the potential draw of such an event, the event was promoted to the public the next year in an effort to bring tourists back to town.

The event grew, attracting many thousands of visitors. More than 50 years later, the Sandcastle Contest weekend is still one of the busiest weekends of the year for Cannon Beach.

In 2014, the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest was named an Oregon Heritage Tradition by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, one of 11 events statewide to achieve such a designation.

Pails and packets will be available throughout the day Friday, June 8, at the Cannon Beach Visitor Information Center. The sandcastle parade takes place at 5:30 p.m. downtown along Spruce and Hemlock.

On Saturday, June 9, from 8 to 10 a.m., the contest hosts the American Legion Pancake Feed, 1216 S Hemlock.

The contest begins at noon, with final judging and awards at 5:30 p.m.

From 7 to 10 p.m., live music with Thistle & Rose takes place on the beach near Second Street beach access, with an 8 p.m. beach bonfire.

Sunday, June 10, offers the Singing Sands 5K fun run and walk, with 9 a.m. check-in on at the beach near Second Street beach access.

For more information, visit www.cannonbeach.org or call 503-436-2623.





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