Celebrate 60 Years of Cannon Beach Sandcastles

Dig in at Cannon Beach for a weekend full of festivities commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the world-famous Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest happening June 14th through June 16th.

From Tragedy to Tradition

On the eve of March 27, 1964, the 9.2 magnitude ‘Good Friday’ earthquake struck the Southern Coast of Alaska sending massive waves down the West Coast only hours later. It was just before midnight when ocean swells began crashing into Cannon Beach and a giant tsunami wiped out the Ecola Creek bridge. This not only devastated much of the town’s north side, but its tourism industry took a major hit as well. 

Rising like the sea, however, was the determination of three local women, Margaret Atherton, daughter Billie Grant, and Marion Crowell. Sparked by imagination, and the hope of uniting the community, and boosting tourism, a brilliant idea took shape in the form of a sandcastle contest, laying the foundation of a tradition still celebrated today. The Contest, which marked its 50th year in 2014, was officially proclaimed an Oregon Heritage Tradition by the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department. 

Learn more by visiting the free Cannon Beach History Center and Museum’s ‘60 Years of Sandcastles’ exhibit on display through June 15th. 1387 S. Spruce Street, Cannon Beach, OR, or visit cbhistory.org.

A 60-Year Tradition Continues

The Cannon Beach 60th Anniversary Sandcastle weekend kicks off on Friday, June 14th with live sandcastle building demonstrations by the pros, and a community gathering at the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce– complete with cake, punch, special exhibits honoring the contest’s history, and hands-on activities for kids. 

On the morning of Saturday, June 15th the magic of the main event begins as teams create their sandy masterpieces, followed by judging, and awards– before everything gets washed away with the tide. The evening ends with a beach party, live music, and a bonfire with s’mores.  

Register the whole family for the Singing Sands 5K Fun Run and Walk. The Sandcastle Contest weekend finale begins on Sunday, June 16th at the Tolovana Wayside parking lot. Registrants 12 and under will receive an official Sandcastle Contest t-shirt while supplies last, and ages under 12 receive a completion ribbon. 
For a full schedule of events or to plan your trip, visit: cannonbeach.org. By Emily Molina