Sandcastle Contest to ripple through Ocean Beach

Chloe Wintersteen

Ocean Beach will be anything but peaceful this coming Saturday, as teams of professional architects, engineers, designers and students roll up their sleeves to participate in Northern California’s largest Sandcastle Contest, sponsored by LEAP arts education.

The 30th annual event, which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 9 from 10:30-4:30, raises funds to support arts education in public schools. However, admission is free to the community and anyone can help build a sandcastle.

2011 winner for most realistic Sandcastle.
2011 winner for most realistic Sandcastle.

Over 25 teams with creative titles, including MichelSANDgelo, The Sandy Warhols, and SANd FRANPSYCHO will meet before the event to plan out their construction of a fantastical sand sculpture pertaining to this year’s theme, “Masterpieces in Sand”. Hundreds of volunteers and thousands of community members attend the event and are encouraged to participate.

The Sandcastle Contest provides a learning opportunity for students interested in architecture, design, or engineering. “Students who are interested in architecture have the opportunity to work side by side with professionals from some of the Bay Area’s leading architecture firms, gaining new skills in design, creativity, collaboration, and problem solving” said Julie McDonald, Executive Director of LEAP.

LEAP is a nonprofit organization which provides high quality arts education programs for public schools. The Sandcastle Contest raises 40-50 percent of LEAP’s operating budget, and makes it possible for them to serve over 30 public schools in the Bay Area and thousands of disadvantaged children per year.

The event was originally scheduled on Oct. 12, but was cancelled due to the shutdown of the federal government, as Ocean Beach is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area located on National Park Jurisdiction. The event was quickly rescheduled to this weekend.

“We can see how creating and sharing art together can help us feel more deeply connected to the diverse, creative, and often fabulously wacky community we live in”, McDonald said.

If students are interested in volunteering or want community service, LEAP is requesting volunteers from 7-10 a.m. this Saturday, Nov. 9, at Ocean Beach for set up. Contact [email protected] for more information regarding this opportunity.