The annual Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival kicks off this weekend in Clearwater Beach Florida. This 6th annual event runs from April 13th-18th on the beautiful white sugar sands of Clearwater Beach. This year’s festival brings in over 1000 tons of white sand to the beach with 11 artists from all over the world to showcase their amazing talents. The artists will be building their sand sculptures inside a giant 21,000 square foot tent protecting them from the rain, sun and the opportunistic seagulls looking for a free meal.
Everything you see is made completely by hand. There are no molds used. They are made up of nothing but water sand and pressure. When the sand is brought in, workers compress the sand into large blocks and then, carved from the top down. The artists use a variety of tools to carve their creations including shovels, trowels, baking tools, brushes, utility and even dental tools. The artists come from locations like Mexico, Canada, Netherlands, the UK and even some locals living right here in St Pete and Clearwater Beach.
The Sugar Sand Festival is loaded full of activities for the entire family. There s a giant sandbox for the kids to make make their own amazing reations while mom and dad sit back and relax under the umbrella or the VIP tent. The main attraction is the actual Sugar Sand Exhibit. The theme changes every year so no sculptures are ever the same. This year’s theme is “Sea America: A Celebration of America’s Treasures” Take a sand sculpting class in one of the daily workshops. Learn some tips and tricks from the pro’s and you don’t have to worry about bringing your own tools, they will be provided. Enjoy live music from artists like Chris McCarty, Tobacco Rd Band, Soul Circus Cowboys, Mystik NRG, Bus Stop Band, Reverand Barry and the Funk, and Tampa Bays own, Stormbringer and The Black Honkeys. Don’t forget to come back the last day of the festival to see Riley Biederer. She has been featured on NBC’s The Voice and also the winner of Katy Perry’s Best Cover Ever. Every evening caps off with an amazing fireworks display over the Gulf of Mexico from 9-9:30 pm.
Grab your front row seat on Pier 60 to see the street performers or Buskers as they’re called. It’s a fantastic family friendly show that is sure to impress. They love to get the crowd involved and kids love it! You can also stroll down Pier 60 to see a wide variety of different arts and crafts exhibits from local vendors showing their work.
No beach fest would be complete without a Cornhole tournament. Prizes and raffles last all day long and the top 3 finishers get prizes from $200-$500. Plus you get a free drink ticket with your entry to help loosen you up before the game.
One of our family’s favorite things to do on the beach is the movies on the beach. Sunset Cinema is every Friday-Sunday night starting at dusk. Just bring your favorite low-lying chair or blanket, along with some snacks and drinks and enjoy the free show. You can see the schedule of movies here.
Free parking is available for those who get here early. There is a metered parking lot right in front of the pier and several others scattered throughout the beach.
Bring the family, friends (no dogs on the beach sorry), get here early. Look for the free parking if you do get here early, bring your chairs and blanket and enjoy all the festivities. It will be a blast!!