The Rockaway Times Sandcastle Contest is Sunday!

 The Rockaway Times Sandcastle Contest is Sunday!

Get your buckets and shovels ready! The 7th Annual Rockaway Times Sandcastle Contest will be held this Sunday, August 6. And with some incredible prizes donated by local businesses, plus fun giveaways, it should a fun time for all ages!

This year, the contest is back on Beach 117th Street, as the sand is open for access! So this Sunday, head to Beach 117th for all of the action! Registration will begin at 11 a.m. on the boardwalk. The contest begins promptly at 12 p.m. on the beach. Participants will have two hours (until 2 p.m.) to create whatever they want, whether it’s a sand sculpture or castle. As things start to wrap up, the judges will start to deliberate based on criteria such as creativity, composition and wow factor! Our judges this year are Kaitlin McVeigh Gibbons of The Rockaway Times, Councilwoman Joann Ariola and a representative from NYC Parks. They’ll have the tough job of picking the winners in the three age categories: 9 and Under, 10-18 and 19 and Up. We hope to see all ages on the sand!

Winners will likely be announced around 3 p.m. The coveted sandcastle trophies and prizes will be given to the first, second and third place winners (and maybe a runner up!) It is free to enter, and all participants will go home with something, as there will be plenty of giveaways during the contest.

Latecomers are welcome, but registration will close at 12:30 p.m. It is highly recommended to bring your own sand tools, but there will be a limited number of buckets and small shovels available for those who may not have them.

This contest is made possible with sponsorship by The Rockaway Times, in partnership with the NYC Parks Department, who sets up the event space, and Councilwoman Joann Ariola, who is sponsoring shark popcorn goodie bags once again. Plus, some local businesses are making this year’s contest extra special with generous donations of gift certificates and prizes towards the prize pool. Among them are The Wharf, Callie’s, Harbor Light, Meat Up Grill, Coastal Market, Carvel, Batesy’s, Pico, and Bungalow Bar, with more to come. Prizes will be given out to the big winners in all age categories on Sunday, so show us your best! In addition to trophies and giveaways, The Rockaway Times is also sponsoring some of the prizes.

While we want everyone to participate, those who just want to check out the competition are welcome, too! As contestants have until 2 p.m. to finish, we suggest coming any time around 2 p.m. to see the sculptures really take shape!

The weather looks perfect for Sunday, so come enjoy this free, fun community event!  For any questions or info, email

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