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Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival: Ready, Set, Build Sand Sculptures!

by Lisa Milberger Moore on February 12th, 2018
A sand sculptor carves his creation with a carved boat captain in the foreground.
A sand-sculpting artist creating his masterpiece.

The sugar-white sands of Clearwater Beach will soon become raw material for works of art during the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival. Sixteen of the world’s best sand sculptors are lined up to participate in this year’s 10th annual festival. It’s scheduled for March 29th – April 14th and themed “Sands of Time.”

These incredible sculptors will build and display their work under a 21,000-square-foot tent. And while you may be tempted to call their creations sandcastles, these glorious sculptures are monumental artistic endeavors, bursting with creative genius.

How the Work Is Done

Everything is crafted by hand. They use only sand and water to build their visions, packing wooden forms with the mixture to create compact, rock-hard surfaces. The artists can then carve their designs, using dentistry tools, toothpicks, and trowels to refine them.

A carving of a group of monkeys.
This year’s creations are sure to rival previous works of sand art like this one created during a previous festival.

Other Things to Do While the Artists Are Sculpting

There’s plenty to see and do during the competition, so make a week of it! Head to the beach for activities the whole family will love, including a giant sandbox, street performers, and arts and crafts. There will also be speed sand-sculpting demonstrations, live music, and food vendors offering gobs of good eating.

Try your hand at a sand-sculpting class to see if you’ve got the gift. Pier 60 also has a Ferris Wheel and other amusements for your entertainment. And don’t forget, the venue will be brimming with an eclectic blend of vendors offering handmade treasures for your viewing (and buying) pleasure!

Get Access to All the Action During the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

Festival hours:

Sunday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

General admission to the Sugar Sand exhibit is $14, with children younger than 3 getting in free. Skip the lines and purchase here – Tickets (

Sand sculpture of a woman wearing a feathered crown and a bathing suit.
One of many sand sculptures created in a previous Sugar Sand Festival.

Where To Stay for the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

Reserve your spot at the beach for the popular Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival while there are accommodations available! Check out our listings of condos, beach houses, and hotels in the area at Clearwater Beach vacation rentals and St. Pete Beach vacation rentals. We offer properties in a wide range of sizes and prices, so you’re sure to find something to meet — and exceed — your needs. Or call one of our vacation planners 7 days a week at 1-888-698-1488. We’d love to find you the perfect home away from home!

Then head on down for this unique and terrific event!

Aerial view of a previous Sugar Sand Festival.
The Sugar Sand Festival takes place every year on the ivory-white beaches of Clearwater, Florida.

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