San Diego Gets Extra Sandy During Labor Day Weekend

For The 5th Annual U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge

WHEN >>> Sept. 2 – Sept 5, 9 am-7 pm 

WHERE >>> ‘B’ Street Cruise Ship Pier, 1140 North Harbor Drive, Downtown San Diego 92101

USA Today has named it one of their 10 Best and American Express calls it one of the top 20 “Must See” seaside events in the world

The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge is returning to San Diego and the ‘B’ Street Cruise Ship Pier downtown. This will be the fifth year that one of the world’s most important sand-sculpting competitions will be held on this built-for-the-occasion beach, with over 300 tons of sand dumped on the pier on San Diego’s Big Bay. It’s easy for sculptors to call it one of the most creative atmospheres in the world, as it takes place in America’s Finest City with sandcastles stretching west nearly 1,000 feet into the bay beneath the beautiful San Diego skyline.

It’s open to the public Sept. 2 – Sept. 5.

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Sculptors Background

World Master Class sand artists carve for four days to create the finest sculptures ever seen in Southern California. Sculptors come from all over the world to challenge the best from the U.S.  For 2016, three new international Masters will participate for the first time; Katsuhiko Chaen from Japan, Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova from Latvia, and Benjamin Probanza from Spain. Another new Master Sculptor addition to this year’s challenge will be Thomas Koet from Melbourne, Florida.

Last year’s grand prize winner was Melineige Beauregard of Canada. JOOheng Tan, from Singapore, took the Grand Prize in 2014, while Sandis Kondrats from Latvia won it in 2013. The last American winner was Rusty Croft from Carmel, CA. in 2012.

Where will this year’s winner be from? The U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia?

At stake, more than $60,000 in appearance, prize money and expenses … and national pride. Plus back by popular demand, the Cool California Carvers Class, which is comprised of seven teams of three professionals that will each be carving for two days.

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This family-friendly extravaganza offers a wonderful array of activities for guests of all ages.


  • It takes two full weeks from start-up to tear-down
  • Over 300 tons of sand are brought onto ‘B’ Street Pier in downtown San Diego
  • The public has just four days to see the sculptures, from September 2 – 5, 2016
  • It will feature 11 professional international Master Sculptors competing solo plus 7 teams of 3 in the Cool California Carver competition


  • The Dimensional Art Exposition – over 1,000 one-of-a-kind original works of art (metal, wood, glass, jewelry, hand-made clothing, wall-art, acrylic, fabric, gemstones, etc.) on display and for sale
  • Family Fun – Kid Zone with rides and sandcastle building lessons taught by professional artists
  • More than a dozen gourmet food trucks and a beer/wine garden
  • Live entertainment all weekend long
  • Special VIP area with great bay views

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The Dimensional Art Exposition

No matter how much you love them, you can’t buy the sand sculptures. But you can buy more than 1,000 works of art in other media, like metal, wood, glass, jewelry, hand-made clothing, wall-art, acrylic, fabric, gemstones and more. Many of the finest artists in the Southwest exhibit and sell their amazing one-of-a-kind art on the pier next to the majestic sandcastle creations at the show.

Family Fun — Live Entertainment, Gourmet Food Trucks, Kids Giant Sandbox & Rides

How would you like to have your kids taught to build sandcastles by professional sculptors who’ve created award winners in Amsterdam and Paris and Tokyo? For mom and dad there is a beer garden and the family can choose from over 100 kinds of yummy snacks and meals from gourmet food trucks.  Live bands will play during the weekend to really infuse the fun tone of this unique annual Labor Day event.


Take Transit

Easiest way to get to the event is by MTS trolley or bus to America Plaza/Santa Fe Depot, just 1 block South and 2 blocks East.  North County Coaster and Amtrak both terminate at that location.  You’ll get $2 off each adult ticket when you show proof of transit at the gate.  What could be easier?

Stay Downtown

Official hotels of the event are the wonderful boutique Sofia (, about 7 blocks East of the festival site on Broadway and Front Streets, and the newly renovated Wyndham San Diego Bayfront (, diagonally just across Harbor Drive from the show on the cruise ship pier.

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Your Attendance Helps Kids

A portion of proceeds from the event goes to local children’s educational charities.

  • The San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts is a public arts magnet school that was named one of the best in the Nation by S. News and World Reports. Students are bussed from throughout the San Diego Unified School District and take classes in theater, music, dance, visual arts, video production, stagecraft and creative writing along with regular academic subjects.
  • Young Audiences of San Diego/Arts for Learning brings performers into elementary and middle schools to show kids what life in the arts is all about, yanks them out of their shells by teaching them to perform some of their ethnic songs and dance, and instills pride in self as they learn how to learn.
  • It’s All About the Kids Foundation helps less fortunate children through a network of 14 San Diego charities that have served over 11,000 kids. IAATK directly supports 10 previously homeless kids now in



Save on Tickets Right Now – Prices valid only through midnight, August 15, 2016. Buy now and save up to 33%!

 Friday only “Preview Day” Ticket

  • Kids (under 12 years), seniors (62+) – $6.00 (event day price at gate $8)
  • Active Military – Show I.D. at gate and get in FREE (Friday only – no need to buy tickets online)
  • Adults – $8.00 (event day price at gate $10)


Saturday – Monday Single Day Admission:

  • Kids (under 12-years), seniors (62+), active military with ID – $6.00 (event day price at gate $9)
  • Adults – $11.00 (event day price at gate $13)


Any 2-day Admission:

  • Kids (under 12-years), seniors, active military with ID – $10.00 (event day price at gate: $15)
  • Adults – $17.00 (event day price at gate $20)


V.I.P. Single Day Admission:

Online Only… Skip the “Buy Tickets” booth line and save!  Includes easy admission, 2 free beverages (beer, wine, soft-drinks — value up to $8 each; total $16), plus special shaded bay-front viewing area with deluxe seating and facilities, plus additional V.I.P. amenities to be announced. Good for any one-day V.I.P. admission for adults, kids and seniors on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Prices increase 8/15/16.

All ages, any day: $27.00 (event day price at gate: $35)

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