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PHOTOS Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival brings massive sculptures to Clearwater Beach

a large ferris wheel set up at a waterfront park at sunrise
Photo via Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

The Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival is happening now on Clearwater Beach, and the No. 1 sand sculpting festival in Florida is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a must-visit attraction. Catch the action daily through April 14 at 1 Causeway Blvd, and get tickets here.

Get ready for an unforgettable experience at the festival, where 16 world-renowned artists showcase their incredible sand sculptures. These masterpieces, meticulously crafted over days, are just the beginning. Enjoy live music, fireworks, kid’s play zones, and sand sculpting classes, along with street performers, artisans, food trucks, speed sand demonstrations, and the master sand sculpting competition.

a large sand sculpture depicting characters from Star Wars
Photo via Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

A sand sculpting celebration on one of the best beaches in America

Many of the events surrounding the festival are free, but the main attraction is the ticketed Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit. Inside this 21,000-square-foot tent, visitors will find the masterpieces of sand creations, all constructed with more than 1,000 tons of white Clearwater Beach sand. As the festival so perfectly puts it, “These aren’t sandcastles — they’re premiere works of art.”

General Admission tickets for the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival are $14, and children under three get in free. The Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit is open Sunday-Thursday from 10 am to 9pm, and from 10 am to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Every Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit ticket includes a complimentary photo, so don’t forget to snag yours at the end of your experience.

multiple sand sculptures on display under a large open air tent
Photo via Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

1,000 tons of Clearwater Beach sand used to create art

There are also VIP tickets available for $70 which give festival-goers access to the Baystar VIP Lounge, which includes: fast lane entrance to the Sugar Sand Festival Exhibit; a complimentary souvenir photo; two beer, wine or seltzer beverages; two soda or bottled water beverages, a festival t-shirt; access to air-conditioned VIP restrooms; and an enhanced dinner menu available 5:30 – 8:30 pm.

The theme this year is “Sands of Time,” commemorating the themes, sculptors and experiences of the past decade of the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival. Learn more and get tickets here.

16 award-winning sculptors use upwards of 1,000 tons of Clearwater Beach sand to create their sculptures, and the exhibit is said to be 95% complete on opening day. The festival intentionally leaves small patches unfinished so that visitors can see the final touches being made.

A sand sculpture of Abe Lincoln on display under a tent
Photo via Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

Master sculptors craft mesmerizing works of art on the beach

For those intrigued by the artistry behind these creations, it’s fascinating to note that sculptors eschew molds for their work. Each masterpiece is crafted solely with utility tools, baking utensils, brushes, and even dentist tools. Throughout the festival, master sand sculptors will be present, meticulously adding final touches to the exhibit, offering complimentary sand sculpting workshops, and wowing audiences with speed sand demonstrations.

More activities include a cornhole tournament, free beach concerts presented by Frenchy’s, a photo booth, the Tropico Sand Bar, amusement rides, a Jimmy Buffett-themed sculpting competition (complete with a tribute concert), fireworks, yoga, a butterfly exhibit, and even a classic VW car show. The full schedule of daily events can be found here.

Learn more and find tickets at

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