Is there anything as Summer-y at the beach as building sandcastles with friends and family? In Cannon Beach, Oregon that feeling is packed into one big day in June for thousands to enjoy together. Join in an Oregon Heritage Tradition at the 2023 Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest Saturday, June 10, 2023 and experience Cannon Beach up close and on the sand! For one weekend in June, the village opens the beach for the teams of professional, amateur and family sandcastle builders for a Saturday full of fun and art on the beach. Wandering through the creation zone, you can admire the techniques of the sand artists; note that they are sponsored by area business folk who play “Plot Buddy” and cheer on their team with snacks, refreshments and support.
Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest Roots
Did You Know? After a tsunami in 1964, locals wanted visitors to know the town was still standing and open and the first Sandcastle Contest was born. The opportunity to get out on the beach and construct on a large scale is too good to pass up, so architects compete in groups called Sand Fleas, Juniors, Teens, Small Group, Large Group, and Masters. They must use only natural materials from the beach (shells, sticks, rocks, etc) and there’s no adhesives allowed. Tens of thousands of visitors fill the village, and cars park out on the beach like the old days. Oregon’s beaches are uniquely all public, and in the earliest days, served as a roadway along the coastline.
Sandcastle Contest vs Sandcastle Weekend
The Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest and special park-on-the-beach fun is one day only, Saturday. It starts early (there’s often a pancake breakfast at the American Legion) because the whole contest has to happen between the tides. Builders begin filling in their sand plots, the volunteer firefighters fund raise with hot dog sales and for just a day, it’s easy to slip back in time to simpler days. The large-scale construction adds to the fun and the crowds move between projects, watching the progress and techniques. Each build chooses a theme and the playfulness and humor in the entries show off the creative talent of Cannon Beach. An awards ceremony wraps up the building day, and it’s a rush to get the vehicles off the beach before the tide comes in.
This destination event adds extra fun added around Saturday so you can make a Sandcastle weekend away out of it! There’s often a small gathering at Friday afternoon’s contest registration, and a sing along beach bonfire on Saturday with s’mores, guitars and singalongs. Sunday sees everyone up early for a 5K Singing Sands Fun Run/Walk on the beach.
Save The Date: 59th Annual Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest – Saturday, June 10, 2023
Join us at the beach for the 59th Annual Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest Saturday, June 10, 2023! To make the most of your Cannon Beach weekend away, book a Cannon Beach vacation home, and do it soon. This popular weekend is the start of the summer season and regularly sells out early. If you can’t make it to town this year, remember that you can still get your collector’s poster and other Sandcastle swag online at the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce website.