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City Sand 2023 - Annual Sand Sculpture Competition

City Sand 2023 - Annual Sand Sculpture Competition

City Sand, an annual sand sculpture competition that began in 1989 at Harborplace, returns to the Inner Harbor after a 10+ year hiatus. The legacy event presented by Baltimore Architecture Foundation (BAF) and MCB Real Estate/Harborplace, and sponsored by: Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, Southway Builders, Gray & Son, C.L. McCoy Framing Co, Inc., 84 Lumber and Ecological Restoration & Management, will be held on Saturday, June 24 from 11am-4pm at the Harborplace Amphitheatre (301 Light Street) between the two Harborplace Pavilions. Teams will build their creations between 11 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. and judging will take place from 3:00pm-4:00 p.m. For more information or for teams wanting to register, call 410-662-0104 or visit

Teams are comprised of local design professionals; builders, architects, contractors and more. Each team will be provided with an area of sand approximately 10’ x 10’ x 1’ thick ( 3.7 cubic yards) in which to build on the theme of “Reimagining Harborplace – The Future of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.”

“Who doesn’t like to play in the sand?” Walter Schamu, founder of BAF, said. “For years Architect and design teams have sculpted in sand, extraordinary visions from their fertile imaginations — all while the spectators cheered them on to vote for the Best-In-Show. Happy that City Sand is back to the Inner Harbor, a Baltimore summertime tradition.”

Each team is to provide its own forms, shovels, tools, and buckets. No power tools, paint, additives, armatures, frameworks or accessories are allowed. Sand and water only. Water is available at the site. Only 12 teams will be able to participate, with a maximum of 8 people per team.

“We are very excited that City Sand is returning to the Inner Harbor,” Eric Lowe, a past participant, said. “For many years, local creatives gathered at the Inner Harbor to sculpt visions in sand to the delight of thousands. With a new chapter beginning for the Harborplace, it is heartening that the new stewards share this pride of place with the many design teams that fashioned these creations throughout City Sand’s past. We are looking forward to the revival of this tradition and sharing the creativity of Baltimore with our neighbors and visitors alike.”

The creations will be judged starting at 4pm that day by a distinguished panel of experts. The winning team will receive the “coveted” Golden Shovel Award. The public will also get to vote for their favorite with a “People’s Choice” winner being announced.

Proceeds of this event will benefit Baltimore Architecture Foundation, 501c(3) non-profit organization that encourages people to explore Baltimore’s architectural history and future.

Event Contact

Meghan Hudson

Event Details

Saturday, June 24, 2023, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM


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