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Carmel Beach Great Sandcastle Contest

October 2, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

AIA Monterey Bay is a co-sponsor of this year’s Sandcastle Contest, taking place on Carmel Beach south of 10th Avenue, on Saturday, October 2. Building begins at 8 a.m. with judging beginning at noon. Judges bestow awards in multiple categories, from the coveted Golden Shovel, to the tongue-in-cheek Sour Grapes.
For six decades, a late-summer tradition in Carmel-by-the-Sea has left no doubt that building sandcastles is not just child’s play. Taken seriously, with artistic and architectural elements on full display, The Great Sandcastle Contest on Carmel Beach has become a major event on anyone’s calendar. This year’s 60th annual event features the theme “Sixty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.”

Annual Great Sand Castle Contest on Carmel


Rules and Regulations

  1. First and foremost: HAVE FUN!
  2. Always use stairways going to and from the beach. Walking on slopes and beach bluffs is prohibited.
  3. Build sand castles within the designated contest boundaries.
  4. The contest is open to all ages.
  5. Skill level is not important – judging takes place in many categories.
  6. Following the theme is not required, but remember that you will be limiting yourself in the number of categories in which you may be judged.
  7. Artistic expression is encouraged – just keep it family friendly.
  8. No power tools may be used.
  9. Sand castles and/or sculptures must be made of natural materials found at the beach. No paints or artificial colorings may be used.
  10. Commercial or political advertising is not appropriate.
  11. A project may be disqualified at the judges’ discretion.
  12. Dogs are best left at home, but if you must bring them keep them on a short leash. One stray dog can ruin a day’s hard work in a few minutes.
  13. Please respect the beach and your fellow beach goers by cleaning up after yourself.
  14. Bribery of Sand Castle Officials is condoned and encouraged. Bribes should be kept in good taste (or at least taste good). Monetary bribes cannot be accepted.
  15. The judges’ decisions are arbitrary and final.


For more information call Carmel Community Services at (831) 620-2020.


October 2, 2021
8:00 am - 1:00 pm
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