What is the Sugar Sand Festival? The Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival is held on Florida's Clearwater Beach and is touted as the state's No. 1 sand-sculpting festival. In order to create masterpieces, 14 participating sculptors use only water and 1,000 tons of sugar sand to create their pieces. The sculptures are 95% completed on opening day to allow guests who stroll through the exhibit to see the art come to life before their eyes. As for what happens when the festival is over, the organization told a fan on

Take a drive to Florida and glimpse spectacular sand sculptures fit for a museum

There’s a sand sculpting contest a mere seven hours from Atlanta that will instantly put the sandcastles you built as a child to shame.

In a tribute to the beaches that stretch along Florida's Tampa Bay, the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival will feature lots of events, but the 17-day festival’s main attraction is the The Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit. During the event happening April 10-26, 14 sculptors from around the globe use 1,000 tons of Clearwater Beach sand to create sand-sculpted art fit for a museum.

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Once a year, guests can stroll through The Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit under a 21,000 square-foot tent. When they do, they’ll see sculptors of everything from Frankenstein to famous figures including Mahatma Gandhi or sand-statues of real-life ones such as the seated Abraham Lincoln figure at the Lincoln Memorial. On opening day, the sculptures are 95% completed, leaving room for attendees to see the images come to life before their eyes.

This year’s theme is “SANDimals, an animal adventure” and general admission is $10.

Curious about how the sculptures are created? Sculptors use sugar sand and water and shovel the sand into large wooden forms, packing it down to make a rock-solid surface. Then, sculptors chip away at it using toothpicks and dentistry tools to create their masterpiece in an eco-friendly manner.

When you’re done being amazed by the creations the sculptors have made, the fun keeps going. Activities include street performers, fireworks, a cornhole tournament and a chance for you to hone your own skills as the next master sand sculptor. 

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Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival
10 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
1 Causeway Blvd. Clearwater Beach, Fla.

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