Playing in the sand goes to a whole new level.
Watch world-famous sand sculptors mold 1,000 tons of sand into works of art at the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival. Every April, Clearwater Beach erects a 21,000-square-foot tent that over 10 days becomes home to the Sugar Sand Walk—a giant art instillation of sculptures around a fun, unique theme.
Sugar Sand Festival Themes
Every year the theme of the festival changes, so you’ll never see the same sculpture twice. For 2016, over 50 giant sand sculptures were created for the theme of "All Out Music.” Sculptures were accompanied by background music and light displays, and included tributes to The Beastie Boys, David Bowie, the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, Bob Marley, and a last-minute unexpected tribute to the untimely death of Prince.
Things to Do: Dance Party, Movies in the Park, DIY Sand Sculpting
After you’ve browsed through the Sugar Sand Walk, maybe you’ll have the bug to do it yourself. That’s where the Sugar Sand Sculpting Clinics come in. Both weekends of the festival, go beachside to see sand sculptor workshops where you’ll learn how to create your very own sandy masterpiece. Carving tools are supplied, so just bring yourself and your imagination.
There’s more to the Sugar Sand Festival than the sculptures, though. This immersive event also features nightly music concerts – a virtual “Dance Party in the Sand.” Music spans the gamut of styles including Salsa, Latin Jazz, Rock, Soul and Funk.
Feel like doing something more chill? Pack your beach blanket and head for Sunset Cinema, held on Friday and Saturday nights during the festival. It’s like a drive in without the drive: sit under the stars on the beach, grab some popcorn at the concession stand, and once the sun has set you’ll be watching your favorite flick with your family, your BAE, or your friends!
Sugar Sand Festival Location, Opening Times & Admission Fees
The festival is held the 2nd and 3rd weekend in April, from 10am-10pm (final day: 10am-9pm). Located at Pier 60, Clearwater Beach, there are many places to park along the beach for the festival, though the closest parking is the Pier 60 Parking Lot and the Marina Parking lot (though due to their proximity are the most popular).
Check for the latest fees, but as of 2016, the following admission fees gives you access to the Sugar Sand Walk.
- Seniors, Military, Service Professionals (Police, Firefighters, Teachers): $7
- Students (Ages 6-17): $5
- Children under 5: Free (with adult purchase)