59th Annual Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest will be held Saturday, June 10, 2023
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.
Keeping the annual Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest going is committee chair Debbie Nelson’s focus throughout the year. Working with a team of volunteers to accomplish this hometown tradition and bringing the contestants and spectators together once again to create “sand magic” will be the highlight to kick off the summer season. As Debbie likes to say, “Come play in the sand with us!”
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 and that contributes to the identity of the state.
Each year during the Sandcastle Contest is the only day you are allowed to park on the beach in Cannon Beach.
2023 times and registration information will be updated as they are finalized. Master’s Division is by invitation only. Please contact Jim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-436-2623
Weekend events may include Bonfire, Music & Smores, Sandcastle Contest building, Singing Sands 5K Fun Run/Walk
Supporters and collectors can buy 2022 limited edition posters and other merchandise available online and in-person at our Information Center.
2022 Contest art by Donald Scott Masterson
Artists Bio: Donald Scott Masterson
Donald Scott Masterson, a multi-medium artist, has called Cannon Beach his home since 2000. Born in Oregon and growing up in Canada, his career has spanned from being a graphic designer for a Nashville record label to an Art Director for Disney and Universal Studios in China. Inspired by the beauty of Cannon Beach from his early childhood while visiting his grandmother, he would wander the local galleries and gather inspiration from artists like Jeﬀrey Hull and Bill Steidel. Now his paintings can be seen in local restaurants and hotels such as The Stephanie Inn and Pelican Brewery, as well as in private collections around the Northwest. When he is not working in his studio at home, Donald spends his days on film sets as a scenic artist and sculptor. He was honored to be asked to create his first Sandcastle Contest Poster back in 2006 and is just as excited to create the new poster for the 2022 contest.
Thank you to our Sponsors!
Cannon Beach Florist | Cannon Beach Bakery | Bruce’s Candy Kitchen
Cannon Beach Design Co. | McEwan Construction | Jeffrey Hull Gallery
Columbia Bank | Fresh Foods Cannon Beach | Pelican Brewing | Mo’s Chowder
Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters | Aquafina
Save the date for next year: June 10, 2023
Click HERE for a list of our 2020 winners!
Below are entries from our Summer of Sandcastles 2020.
2020 Sandcastle Merchandise is still available online!
or at the Visitor Information Center on 2nd and Spruce Street