Lineup Set for N. Oregon Coast's Cannon Beach Sandcastle Fest
Published 04/02/2016 at 6:51 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – The famed north Oregon coast town of Cannon Beach has announced its plans for the even more celebrated Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest, to be held on Saturday, June 11. It's the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, bringing thousands into the village to watch the works of a several dozen teams.
They come from all over and from all kinds of ability levels: professional sand sculpture artists, amateur groups and families will all construct remarkable creations in the sand during this famed festival. Then, their unique creations will be washed away by the tides later in the day, immortalized in social media snapshots.
The Masters division teams compete for cash prizes and construct large, elaborate designs often utilizing construction forms similar to those used for pouring concrete in order to accomplish their monumental size.
This massive party on the strand doesn't just involve the sculptures anymore. Presently, the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest also features numerous other activities to keep the frivolity going. Things start on that Friday – the night before the contest – with a concert at the Coaster Theatre featuring 3 Leg Torso, an award-winning quintet specializing in an eclectic synthesis of chamber music, tango, klezmer, latin and Gypsy music.
There's also a parade, a beach bonfire, a 5K fun run and walk, and more.
On Saturday morning, the sculpting begins and judging for the event starts at 1:30 p.m. This makes 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. the best time to view the wondrous creations. Tides and Mother Nature will decide how long that really lasts after that point.
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 11 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.
Officials say you'll have to make your lodging reservations well ahead of time as these fill up long in advance. Those coming for the day should plan on arriving early as traffic and parking will be challenging. However, the Sandcastle Contest is the only day of the year when the beach is used for parking to accommodate the large crowds. For information on the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest or information on how to participate, contact the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce at (503) 436-2623. For lodging information, visit cannonbeach.org. Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour
History Behind the Sandcastle Contest:
It actually began with a tragedy. A tsunami in March of 1964, created by an earthquake in Alaska, came marauding across much of the Oregon coast, but especially causing damage in Seaside and Cannon Beach. The flooding washed out the bridge at Ecola Creek, leaving no road in or out of Cannon Beach at the time.
To cheer each other up, residents put on a community sandcastle contest. Immediately recognizing this could be a major attraction, the following year it was promoted to the public to get more tourists back into town. The event grew, began attracting tens of thousands of visitors and more than 50 years later, the Sandcastle Contest weekend is still one of the busiest weekends of the year for Cannon Beach.
More about Cannon Beach below and at the Cannon Beach Virtual Tour, Map.
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