Port Of San Diego’s 8th Annual U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge Returns

Hailed as Best U.S. Labor Day Event in 2018 by CNN Travel, a Top 20 “Must See” seaside festival in the world by American Express and USA Today’s 10 Best, the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition will return to San Diego’s downtown waterfront for three days of fun, sun, and spectacular scenery.

Sculptors will interpret this year’s theme, “Wonder” as broadly or narrowly as they wish, from ephemeral ideas like “curiosity” to the greatest wonders of the world or Stevie Wonder or Wonder Woman!


World Master Sand Sculptors

The competition will feature 12 Master Class Sculptors, seven from countries around the world and five from the United States, defending the title won last year by Thomas Koet of Melbourne, FL. There are no more than 50 artists on the planet who compete at this level and those who appear in San Diego are among the very best.

They carve museum-quality sculptures made from only sand and water that can reach up to 15 ft. tall and weigh over 20,000 lbs. San Diego’s Broadway Pier has been called the most creative atmosphere in the world over Labor Day weekend and you’ll never see “pop up” works of art like this anywhere else!


International artists are returning to compete for the top prize

  • 2018 People’s Choice and 2017 2nd place overall winner Abe Waterman from Prince Edward Island, Canada
  • 2016 Sculptor’s Choice and 2015 Triple Crown winner Melineige Beauregard from Quebec, Canada
  • Jihoon Choi from South Korea
  • World Masters Martijn Rijerse and Anique Magee from the Netherlands
  • Hanneke Supply from Belgium
  • Pavel Mylnikov from Russia


Returning and representing the USA are:

  • 2018 Grand Prize and 2017 Sculptors’ Choice winner Thomas Koet
  • 2018 Third Prize Winner Dan Belcher (St. Louis, MO)
  • 2018 World Master Brian Turnbough (Chicago, IL)
  • World Masters Chris Guinto (Key West, FL)
  • John Gowdy (Atlantic City, NJ)

At stake, more than $60,000 in prize money and national pride. Where will this year’s winner be from: the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia?


The Dimensional Art Exposition

No matter how much you love them, you can’t take the sand sculptures home. But you can shop for more than 2,000 original works of art such as hand-made clothing and accessories, wood and metal art, beautiful gourds, glass art, jewelry, quilled greeting cards, paper designs and much more.

Many of the finest artists in the Southwest from as far away as New Mexico and Montana, will exhibit and sell their amazing one-of-a-kind art on the pier next to the majestic sand sculpture


Family Fun — Live Entertainment, Gourmet Food Trucks, Fantastic Bay Breezes and Views

In addition to witnessing one of the most important sand sculpture competitions in the world, patrons will enjoy live entertainment from bands paying tribute to the Beatles, Beach Boys, Dylan, Journey and other greats. There will also be special appearances by Elvis on Saturday and Sunday nights!

Families can picnic on the bay with food and drink (including beer and wine) from over a dozen gourmet food trucks and vendors such as Cousins Maine Lobster, The Habit Burger, Eat Your Heart Out, Matheny’s Wagon Works, Pomodoro Rosso, Goodness Baked Cookie Company, Cruising Cones, Old School Shave Ice and more!


A portion of proceeds from the event will go to local charities that support children’s education,
including the Padres Foundation and e3 Civic High.

See you there!

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