4 Full Days of Family Fun

Friday-8/30 | Saturday-8/31 | Sunday-9/1 | Monday-9/2 (Labor Day)

The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Exposition is open to the public from 9am to 7pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend, 2013. Come watch some of the world’s top sand artists create sculptural masterpieces the likes of which have never before been seen in San Diego . . . not even at the former U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition in Imperial Beach.

It’s on the water, but it’s not on the beach. It’s an urban sand sculpture extravaganza! We’re bringing 300 tons of sand to the ‘’B’ Street Cruise Ship Terminal Pier on Harbor Drive downtown. (Don’t worry. The pier won’t fall into the water. The secret: there’s land beneath.)

What an experience: On 3 sides surrounded by San Diego’s Big Bay and on the 4th, downtown’s castles in the sky. You and your family watch sculptures being gently carved by master artists from Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Latvia and Canada, who challenge the best sculptors from the U.S. Enjoy dimensional art from leading West Coast artists who work in metal, glass, resin, clay, wood, leather, fabric and gemstones, while tall ships pass majestically with hoisted sail in full regalia.

Check out the amazing large pile sand sculpture with 35 tons of sand. And walk out on the pier for the best view of ships cruising the Big Bay in all of downtown.

Enjoy live bands, singers and dancers on the big stage. Marvel at the circus performers. Let your kids play in the sandboxes, learn how to build sandcastles, walk on water, jump on a European bungie ride and fly on a zip line.

 

The schedule

Friday, 30 August

Gates are open from 9:00am to 7:00pm. World Masters start their 3rd full day of sculpting. (They’ve been carving since Wednesday morning.) Dimensional artists display their metal and glass sculptures, their ceramics and wood carvings, wall décor, clothing, jewelry and more, all day long.

Kids’ sandboxes and rides are open all day. At the Ocean Potion exhibit, kids can learn how to build sandcastles from professional carvers who’ve worked all over the world.

Entertainers appear on stage throughout the day and circus performers show up at times and places when you least expect them.

The emcee makes periodic announcements and patrons (that’s you) can win one of dozens of valuable prizes just for being on the pier (or even within earshot of the event on Harbor Drive). If you win one, this event can not only end up being free, but you can go home with valuable gift certificates for groceries at Jimbo’s, food and merchandise at Seaport Village, Padres baseball tickets, maybe even a lot of cash.

The topping on this fabulous cake: 10 gourmet food trucks serve a huge variety of meals, beverages and desserts all day long.


Saturday, 31 August

Gates are open from 9am to 7:00pm. World Masters start their 4th and final day of sculpting. Cool California Carvers 2-person teams begin their first day of sculpting. Dimensional artists display their metal and glass sculptures, their ceramics and wood carvings, wall décor, clothing, jewelry and more, all day long.

The I.B Challenge begins at 9:00am. The 3 teams who’ve won grand prize in all 10 of the former U.S. Open Sandcastle Competitions in its last 10 years, Archisand, I.B. Posse and Sand Squirrels, face off against each other once again. This year, teams are limited to 3 persons with 1 alternate.

Kids’ sandboxes and rides are open all day. Entertainers appear on stage throughout the day. Gourmet food trucks serve meals, beverages and desserts.

Patrons vote today on their favorite World Masters sand art. At 6pm sharp, we find out if the European and Canadian challengers were able to beat the best of the U.S. sculptors. Judges announce the winners in the World Masters class and hand out trophies and checks. A surprise guest may make an appearance at this, the first of two awards ceremonies.


Sunday, 1 September

Gates are open from 9am to 7:00pm. The World Masters are done. Their sculptures are amazing. I.B. Challenge teams and Cool California Carvers begin their second days of carving at 9:00am and complete their sculptures at 5:00. Dimensional artists display their metal and glass sculptures, their ceramics and wood carvings, wall décor, clothing, jewelry and more, all day long.

Judges begin their work immediately after carvers complete theirs, judging the sculptures of the I.B. Challenge and Cool California Carver teams. Patrons vote on their favorite I.B. Challenge creation, enabling San Diegans who’ve enjoyed these teams’ work for so many years to have their say in which one gets the Peoples’ Choice award for 2013.

The events’ second award ceremony begins at 6:00. Cash prizes and trophies are handed to winners of both remaining classes of sand sculptors, and trophies are given as well to the top dimensional artists in the 3D Art Exposition. You never know, but a surprise guest may appear to help hand out the awards.

As always, the kids’ sandbox area is open all day, and more World Masters are available at the Ocean Potion exhibit to teach them sandcastle building skills. Walk-around and stage performers entertain throughout the day, and gourmet food trucks are available to quench your appetite and thirst.


Monday, Labor Day, 2 September

Gates are open from 9am to 7:00pm. If you weren’t on the pier after the late afternoon award ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday to see which sculptures were judged best by event officials, didn’t catch the 11:00pm news, or simply want to see these amazing sand sculptures up close on their last day on the planet, this is the day to visit the pier.

It’s Labor Day, and the best view of any tall ships playing on our Big Bay continues to be the view from the end of our cruise ship terminal pier.

Of course, the kids’ sandbox area is open. Walk-around and stage performers continue to entertain throughout the day.

And gourmet food trucks are available to quench your appetite and thirst.

At 7:00pm, we close until Labor Day weekend, 2014.


The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Exposition is proud to support charities that focus on children's education. Learn More »


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