Called “The Original Imperial Beach Sandcastle Competition,” the 2015 Imperial Beach Sun & Sea Festival will feature world-class sandcastle sculptors creating some of the best sand creations on the West Coast as well as a community parade and pancake breakfast, live music, children’s craft activities, a Kids ‘n Kastles competition, Farmer’s Market and International Food Fair.
A pancake breakfast at Portwood Pier Plaza will kick off Saturday’s activities from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Attendees will get to enjoy freshly made pancakes served up by the Imperial Beach community members and elected officials.
A parade featuring local youth groups and civic organizations marching to show their Imperial Beach pride will proceed down Seacoast Drive at 9 a.m. Best viewing spots are at Portwood Pier Plaza, 10 Evergreen Ave.
Attendees will have the opportunity to sample a variety of foods at the Certified Farmer’s Market and International Food Fair from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Portwood Pier Plaza and along Seacoast Drive. In addition, many of the restaurants in Imperial Beach will be offering special menus and discounts for the day. The event will also feature a stage with musical entertainment and children’s activities and crafts throughout the day.
Local children will get to show their sand-sculpting skills during the Kids n’ Kastles competition, where kids from ages 5 to 12 will team together to build sandcastles. At 5:00 PM, the day’s activities will conclude with an awards ceremony at Pier Plaza. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams. Other prizes will be raffled during the event which will be adjacent to the Nathan’s Famous Hotdog Kidz Zone in the Dunes Park and parking lot. Other activities at the Kidz Zone include arts and crafts, circus acts and other free family activities.
The Sun & Sea Festival derives its name from Imperial Beach’s original public festival of the same name that was held beginning in 1960 to celebrate the date of the city’s incorporation. This annual community celebration featured a sand sculpting competition.
Imperial Beach also was the site of the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition for 32 years, from 1980 to 2011. When that annual event ended, the Port decided to initiate a more family-oriented event for the Imperial Beach community.
The Port produced IB Kids Fest at Pier Plaza in June 2012, and then reignited the tradition of the original IB celebration with a new Sun & Sea Festival, which featured a professional sand sculpture display and the children’s Kids ‘N Kastles competition, in June 2013.
2015 will see further reintegration of the best of both historical events. The Sun & Sea Festival will expand on the family-oriented theme by adding an expanded Farmer’s Market and International Food Fair showcasing all that Imperial Beach has to offer. On the sand, competition will return to the event with teams vying for honors in sand sculpting prowess on the north side of the pier and Kids ‘n Kastles returns to the south of the pier.
Sun & Sea Festival Event Schedule
Friday, July 17:
- 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM: Mayor’s Breakfast at Pier Plaza
- Noon to Dusk: Exhibition Sandcastle on Display
- 6:00 PM to Midnight: Sandcastle Ball
Saturday, July 18:
- 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM: Pancake Breakfast $5 donation Hosted by volunteers from St. James Lutheran Church
- 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM: Parade starts at the corner of Imperial Beach Blvd and Seacoast Drive, travels north on Seacoast ending at Dunes Park
- 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM: Master Sand Sculptures Created north of the pier
- 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM: Farmer’s Market and International Food Fair open along Seacoast Drive Dempsey Holder Center and Pier South
- 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM: Children’s Activities (Kids Zone in Dune’s Park)
- Noon – 1:30 PM: Kids ‘n Kastles Sand-Building Competition adjacent to Dune’s Park
- 2:00 to 4:00 PM: Judging of Sandcastles
- 4:00 to 5 PM: Sandcastle Awards Ceremony at Pier Plaza