Art on the beach: SPI to have 33rd annual Sandcastle Days

After a brief pause caused by the pandemic, one of South Padre Island’s beloved scenic traditions is returning for another year of creative fun.

Several sand sculptors from around the country and world are competing in the Island’s 33rd Annual Sandcastle Days competition that’s being held at Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill this week.

Master sand sculptors Walter “Amazin Walter” McDonald and Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga founded the event 34 years ago.

According to event organizers, McDonald and Wierenga created the event as a way to demonstrate the Island’s sand sculpting qualities and to highlight the importance of protecting coastal shores.

“I feel proud to have shepherded this event as long as we have,” Wierenga said. “It says a lot about the town that they’re willing to keep supporting this event. The community is very supportive so hooray, we’re doing it again.”

Sandcastle Days has free admission and features live music, art booths and food.

According to Wierenga, this year’s event will have 10 competing master sand sculptors.

“Walter and I will both be competing in the event this year,” Wierenga said. “We have an amazing crew of sculptors from all over the world.”

The official start of the Masters of Sand Competition begins on Thursday at 9 a.m.

Master sand sculptors will continue sculpting their works of art on Friday starting at 9 a.m.

Registration for the event’s amateur competition will begin on Friday. The amateur competition is open to kids, families, groups and individuals.

Sandcastle Days will continue on Saturday with amateur registration and free sandcastle lessons beginning at 8 a.m.

The amateur competition begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.

Saturday is the master sand sculptors’ final day of working on their competing creations.

The Sandcastle Days Mercado will be open from 10 a.m. to close. Throughout the day there will be children’s water slides and a bouncer and bull riding open.

The Unlitter Campaign’s 10th annual Trashion Show starts at 4 p.m. and will have a “Straw Wars Theme” this year.

An awards ceremony for amateur and masters divisions will be held at 4:30 p.m.

The last day of the event is scheduled for Sunday beginning at 9 a.m.

Free sandcastle lessons will start at 10 a.m.

Throughout the day there will be children’s water slides and a bouncer and bull riding open.

The event will end with a People’s Choice Awards at 3 p.m.

“We’re super excited,” Wierenga said. “I think we’re going to have a big crowd and I hope the weather stays nice because it’s perfect right now. Be sure to come out and learn how to build a better sandcastle.”