Bring your sand pails, shovels and creative flair to Belmar beach for the NJ Sandcastle Contest on Wednesday, July 12, 2023. This family-favorite event draws crowds of competitors and spectators to 18th Avenue beach for a day of digging and sculpting by the sea.
The competition, which begins with registration at 8:00 a.m., is free and open to participants of all ages. Admission to 18th Avenue beach is free for contest participants.
Judging for the NJ Sandcastle Contest begins at 12:00 p.m. The judges will evaluate each entry for its originality, creativity, resourcefulness, and use of accessories. Because the tide eventually washes the sandcastle designs into the ocean, participants should use natural ingredients and environmentally safe materials when creating their masterpieces.
First, second, and third prizes will be awarded in the following categories, along with a Best on Beach award:
Age 7 and under
Age 8 to 11
Age 12 to 15
Camps and recreation
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In 2022, the Best On Beach award went to a Buddha face sand sculpture. For several years prior to 2022, the Bikini Boys from Seaside Heights, New Jersey, snagged the Best On Beach award with their elaborate sand sculptures. They took home first prize in 2021 with "Finding Nemo" and in 2019 with "SpongeBob Riding a Sea Serpent," their tribute to the 20th anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants.
In 2018, the Bikini Boys won top honors with their "Yabba Dabba Do" Flinstones-themed sandcastle, while in 2017, they edged out the competition with their stunning “Etch-a-Dragon" creation. (The 2020 Sandcastle Contest was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The New Jersey Sandcastle Contest is presented by the Belmar Tourism Commission and D’Jais. In case of rain, the event will be rescheduled for Thursday, July 13. Admission to 18th Avenue beach will be free during the Sandcastle Contest. Spaces on the beach for contestants are available on a first-come, first-served basis between 17th and 19th Avenues.
For more information, contact Belmar Tourism officials at 732-681-3700, ext. 214, or email us with any questions.
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Story and photos © copyright by Christine Cardellino, owner of www.VacationInBelmar.com and publisher of the award-winning Belmar Beachcomber Blog, a travel and tourism guide for the Belmar region of the Jersey Shore. Do not copy any content (including images) without our permission. All rights reserved.