- Presented By: Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce
- Dates: June 10, 2023
- Location: Cannon Beach, Oregon
- Time: 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM
The Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest began in 1964 when a tsunami washed out the Elk Creek Bridge, and residents were relatively isolated until a new bridge could be built. That spring, local families gathered for a Sandcastle Contest to entertain their children and attract visitors. That Sandcastle Contest became one of the largest sandcastle contests on the west coast.
Divisions of the contest include Sand Fleas, Juniors, Teens, Small Group, Large Group, and Masters. Contest rules are simple, and no themes are mandated. This often results in a creative and sometimes colorful commentary on current events. Each team is given a plot of sand within a designated viewing area, and sand may not be added or removed. Only natural materials found on the beach, such as sticks, shells, rocks, and seaweed, may be used for ornamentation. No artificial coloring, paint, flour, sugar, starch, adhesives, or cement may be added.
In 2014, the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest was recognized as an Oregon Heritage Tradition by the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department, making it one of just 26 events statewide to achieve such a designation. An Oregon Heritage Tradition is an event with broad public appeal, with at least 50 years of continuous operation, contributing to the state's identity.