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N. Oregon Coast's Famed Cannon Beach Sandcastle Fest Returns June 9

Published 05/28/2018 at 6:35 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

N. Oregon Coast's Famed Cannon Beach Sandcastle Fest Returns June 9

(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – The 51st Annual Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest is just around the corner for the north Oregon coast, coming up on Saturday, June 9. It’s the oldest competition of its kind in the northwest and certainly the most high-profile event on the entire Oregon coast, even more so for the sleepy hamlet of Cannon Beach itself.

Dozens of teams of professional sand sculpture artists, amateur groups and families descend on this part of the north coast to construct remarkable creations in the sand over the course of the day. The Masters division teams compete for cash prizes and construct large, elaborate creations often utilizing construction forms similar to those used for pouring concrete in order to accomplish their monumental size.

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The fun has been extended to other days beyond the actual sandcastle building. Cannon Beach has made a weekend of it, starting on June 8 and ending on Sunday, June 10. The sand sculpture contest on Saturday is the highlight of the weekend, but visitors will find plenty of other activities to keep them busy. Weekend to-do's include the Sandcastle Parade on Friday afternoon; a beach bonfire with live music on Saturday evening; and the Singing Sands 5K fun run and walk on Sunday morning. Judging of the sandcastles begins at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, making 4 – 6 p.m. the best time for viewing the completed sculptures. The tide will determine how long the sculptures last.

How the contest began is a strange and somewhat tragic tale, beginning with the tsunami of 1964 that washed out the bridge and main access to Highway 101. Once the bridge was rebuilt, Cannon Beach discovered many visitors were ignoring the town. The first contest was mainly locals, publicized only slightly in an experimental effort to see what could get tourists coming back. See the full story: N. Oregon Coast History: Tsunami Tragedy Started Cannon Beach's Sandcastle Festival.

The schedule:

Friday, June 8, packets and pails will be available at the Cannon Beach Visitor Information Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., there’s the Sandcastle Parade, downtown along Spruce and Hemlock.

On Saturday, June 9, the American Legion Pancake Feed happens at 8 a.m. (1216 S Hemlock). The sandcastle contest begins at noon, with final judging and awards at 5:30 p.m. Cars need to be off the beach an hour later.

From 7 – 10 p.m. there’s live music with Thistle & Rose on the beach near the 2nd Street beach access. A beach bonfire there gets underway at 8 p.m.

On Sunday, June 10, the Singing Sands 5K Fun Run/Walk begins at 9 a.m. with the check-in on the beach near the 2nd Street beach access.

Make lodging reservations early for this popular weekend as hotels typically sell out all rooms in advance. Day-trippers should plan on arriving early. The Sandcastle Contest is the only day of the year when the beach is used for parking to accommodate the large crowds, but cars must be off the beach by 6:30pm to avoid potential issues with the incoming tide. 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. ---- Cannon Beach Hotels / Lodging for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

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