Flights of architectural fancy that leave Dubai firmly in the shade will rise from the shores of Siletz Bay this Saturday, Aug. 11, as the Bay Area Merchants Association hosts the 41st annual Sandcastle Contest.

“The contest is a long tradition in Lincoln City,” said the group’s Downtown Manager Susan Wahlke. “For as long as I can remember, the event has drawn large crowds. The beach is always packed with smiling faces of all ages.”

The contest is open to participants of all ages and skill levels, with categories for groups or families, pairs, individuals over 12 years old and kids aged 12 and younger. Each category will have its own designated area on the beach for entrants to craft their creations. Specialized categories such as Best Squid, Best Sea Creature, Best Sandcastle and others will also be available.

The contest runs from 11 am to 5 pm, with registration starting at 9 am on the dock just outside Mo’s Restaurant on SE 51st Street. All participants must sign up at the registration booth before starting to sculpt.

Entries must be built using only sand, water, shells and other natural beach material found that day. Hand tools and forms may be used in the construction process but may not support the structure. Power tools are not allowed.

In keeping with the amateur nature of the competition, professional sand artists are not eligible to win prizes.

For those sculptors who feel their energy flagging throughout the day, good old-fashioned s’mores will be served up in the covered pavilion at the end of SW 51st Street.

Local favorite Bret Lucich will be on hand to entertain sand sculptors and spectators alike from mid-morning until judging begins at 2 pm. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winner in every category except the kids’ division, where the 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-place entrants will each go home with a Beach Bucket Surprise.

The Sandcastle Contest runs from 11 am to 5 pm, with registration starting at 9 am. The participation fee is at least one can of food per entrant, which will be donated to the Lincoln City Food Pantry. There will be a shuttle, courtesy of Robben Rent-a-Car from the public parking lots in the Taft district.

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