Sand castle contest shapes up on Ocean Beach Saturday
The annual Leap Sand Castle Contest will bring a crowd of children and grownups to the north end of Ocean Beach Saturday to learn some hands-on teamwork, raise money for school arts programs and have a lot of sandy fun.
This marks the 29th year for the contest, one of the major fundraisers for Leap, Arts in Education, which provides supplemental arts programming in Bay Area schools. The contest is free and open to the public.
Site preparation starts at 8 a.m. on the beach near Balboa Street, and then at 10, 28 teams of elementary-school students combined with architects, designers, contractors, corporations and engineers will start building their entries in the contest. The theme for this year’s contest is “”Leap Year 2012 (things that jump).”
Judges will announce the contest winners at 3 p.m., and the event wraps up at 4.
Before the teams get to the beach, they’ve already done a lot of preparation in the classroom. Teams meet with students to develop ideas, build clay models and plan for the day of the contest.
Judges this year include San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic John King, American Institute of Architects San Francisco Executive Director Margie O’Driscoll, artist Rob Cox, ArtPractical Director Patricia Maloney and California Alliance for Arts Education Executive Director Joe Landon.
Sand castles have a colorful history at Ocean Beach, going back at least to 1909, when sculptor James J. Taylor created a large piece depicting a woman and child, and several Civil War generals.
Check out Ocean Beach Bulletin coverage of previous contests:
Here’s a map of team locations for the 2012 Leap Sand Castle Contest:
Watch a time-lapse video of the 2011 Sand Castle Contest: