Sand Castle Contest Draws Huge Crowd

Mike Lano    A crowd of more than 1,000 people packed Alameda’s Crown Beach to take in the entrants of Alameda’s 52nd annual Sand Castle and Sculpture Contest.

The city of Alameda’s 52nd annual Sand Castle and Sand Sculpture Contest winners have been announced. According to the Alameda Recreation and Park Department, a total of 178 people in 41 groups entered the sand castle category and 252 people in 48 groups competed in the sand sculpture category.

Sand Castles
The best in show award for the sand castle category went to Arlo, Finn and Co., of Alameda for their “Seaweed, Pyramid & Skull.”

The Dawson Family won the family division with the Brown and Grissom families coming in second and third places repsectively. All three teams hailed from Alameda.

In the 13 and over division, Arlo, Finn and Co. took first place. Second place went to Small Size, Big Minds, for their “Moat, Sea Monster, Cans for Eyes.” Loenn, Mattis, Marcell and Lucien’s “Pyramid & Steps” took third place. All three teams hailed from Alameda.

In the 12-and-under division, Nate, Selig, Pablo and Friends, Pack No. 1015 took first place, Trevor and Owen took second and Elli and Jazzy, third. The three teams all hailed from Alameda. 

Sand Sculptures
In the sand sculpture category, best in show went to Gillian, Mattie, Erica, Kristen, Ben of Alameda’s “Palm Tree Island.”

In the family division, Susan, Steve, David, Lesley, of Alameda and Oakland won first place for their “Snail and Seaweed.” The Wigenas family of Belmont, Calif., took second for “Dog with Bone” and the Dinery Family of Alameda won third with “Sphinx.” 

In the 13-and-over division, Kenny, Camille, Zoli, Brandi, Perri, Braiden and Patrick of Alameda took first place with “Star Wars” featuring an impressive rendition of the Millennium Falcon. Crystal, Sarah, John, Bill, Juliet, Jeff, John, Ryan and Kersti of Alameda won second place for “Anchor” and Monica Valerio, of Las Vegas, Nev., took third place for “Tennis Player.”

In the 12-and-under category, Vivian, Alana, Toby and Sierra of Alameda and Oakland, won first place for “Turtle” Pomeroy School of Milpitas took second with “Whale and Ducky” and Emily, Sam and Megan, of Danville won third place with “I Love Bay.”

The castles and sculptures are judged based on four criteria: design, detail, neatness and technique. The originality of subject and overall design are given a weight of 30 points. The originality of shape, lines and space is also given 30 points. Sharpness of relief and balanced proportions overall are given 20 points in weight, as are the use of forms, drip method, shaping of arches, etc. for a total of 100 possible points. 

The free event is sponsored by the Alameda Recreation and Park Department and its partners, East Bay Regional Park District and the Bayview Women’s Club.

To learn more about the contest, and its rules in order to prepare for next year’s competition, visit

Mike Lano    Public Art Commissioner and Sand Castle and Sculpture Contest Judge Mark Farrell said he admired “all the hard work this year” as he reviewed “Dragon” a sculpture that earned an honorable mention at last Saturday’s contest.
Eric J. Kos    In the 13-and-over division, Kenny, Camille, Zoli, Brandi, Perri, Braiden and Patrick of Alameda presented “Star Wars” as their first-place winning entry to this year’s sand sculpture contest. The sculpture left no doubt its subject was the Millennium Falcon of Star Wars fame.