GALVESTON — Gigantic sand castles will decorate the shore of Galveston’s East Beach on Saturday as the island hosts the 28th annual American Institute of Architects Sandcastle Competition.

The event — one of the largest amateur sand castle building competitions in the world — will kick off at 9 a.m. with teams of architects, designers and engineers competing for a chance to win the coveted Golden Bucket Award.

The competition, sponsored by the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, is free for the public to attend. Gates will open at 9 a.m. The teams will build from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., during which the public can vote for their favorite sand castle. Winners will be announced during an awards ceremony at 4:30 p.m.  

New this year, the city of Galveston is attempting to set a world record for the most aluminum cans collected in an 8-hour period Sunday in conjunction with the AIA Sandcastle Competition. Teams, sponsors and spectators will assist in this effort by collecting their cans during the competition.

The public is also encouraged to take aluminum cans. Recyclables will be collected at eco-stations located throughout the public thoroughfare on the beach.

East Beach is on the most eastern end of Galveston at 1923 Boddeker Drive. Parking at East Beach is $10 cash per vehicle. For details, visit www.aiasandcastle.com.

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