Press release from Friends of the Dunes:

Friends of the Dunes is pleased to announce the winners of the 25th Annual Sand Sculpture Festival! Although the festival looked a little different this year, there was no shortage of creativity, determination, and of course, a whole lot of fun at the beach! Throughout the month of July, households formed teams, chose a local Humboldt County beach, and got to work building their sandy masterpieces.

“These sand sculptures really are works of art!” said Sophie Hamann, Outreach and Operations Manager at Friends of the Dunes “So much time and effort goes into creating them, and we are blown away by what people can sculpt with only sand and water.”

Eighteen teams submitted sculptures into the competition for a chance to win the titles of Best of Show, Most Imaginative, Most Dedicated Diggers, Most Photogenic, Staff Pick, People’s Choice, and the Golden Shovel Award. All in all, the 25th Annual Sand Sculpture Festival was a great opportunity for Humboldtians to get outside and safely enjoy our beautiful coast. With that, we are excited to announce the winners of this year’s Sand Sculpture Festival!


People’s Choice Award: After nearly 6 weeks of voting, the people have spoken!

The winner of the 2020 People’s Choice Award is Team Making Waves with the sculpture “Siren’s Song” with a total of 304 votes.

Coming in second is “Humboldt High Fortress” by Team Maximum Wattage with 158 votes.

Siren’s Song.

Humboldt High Fortress.

Golden Shovel: This award is reserved for our amazing business partners that enter a sculpture into the competition. This year’s winning sculpture is “The Common Co-op Corn Crab,” sculpted by Th’ Howards, representing the North Coast Co-op. To learn more about our business partner program, follow this link.

The Common Co-op Corn Crab.

The titles of Most Imaginative, Most Dedicated Diggers, Most Photogenic, and Best of Show were bestowed upon the sculptures by a panel of three judges and two Friends of the Dunes staff members.

Most Imaginative: For its clever use of color and beach objects, Judges agree that “Sandman” created by the DiAnda Leal Family deserves the title of Most Imaginative Sculpture! Coming in second place is Team Craghead’s “Message in a Bottle.”


Message in a Bottle.

Most Photogenic: Judges agreed that “Dog Days of Moonstone,” by the Sand Doodlers deserves the title of Most Photogenic. We all know how hard it is to get a good picture of your pup, on top of getting them to help sculpt a fire hydrant made of sand! Coming in second place is “Peace and Love,” by Team Go to the Beach.

Dog Days of Moonstone.

Peace and Love.

Most Dedicated Diggers: If you scrolled through any of the pictures, you will notice the enormous amount of preparation and dedication that went into sculpting “Siren’s Song” by Team Making Waves. Coming in second place is “Solidarity” by The Peaceful Warriors.


Best of Show: With gravity-defying arches, and impressive details, Judges agreed that “Humboldt High Fortress” by Team Maximum Wattage deserves the title of Best of Show. A close runner up is “Dog Days of Moonstone,” by the Sand Doodlers.

Staff Pick: A favorite amongst staff members was the anatomically correct sand crab, named ‘Holy Crab,’ by Team Gnomestead, representing our partners at the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust.

Holy Crab.

Congratulations winners, and a big thank you to all that participated! Staff will be reaching out to the winners of the Sand Sculpture Festival in the coming weeks. To view images of all the sculptures, please visit our website.