Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the days of the event this year?
A. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, August 31 – September 3, 2018.
Q. What are the event hours?
A. Fri. and Mon. 9am–5pm; Sat. and Sun. 9am-7pm
Q. When can we see sand sculptors creating their masterpieces?
A. All day Friday and Saturday, and Sunday from 9am – 2pm. While World Masters begin carving their sculptures days in advance of the event opening to the public, you’ll see them in action all day Friday and Saturday when they finish their work. 3-person Teams carve all day Saturday and Sunday until 2pm. A demonstration of how sculptures are created will take place on Monday.
Q. When can we see the sculptures complete?
A. World Masters’ finished works may be seen all day on Sunday and Monday. 3-person Teams finished works may be seen from 2pm on Sunday and all day on Monday. (If you only want to see finished sculptures and you have only one day to visit the event, Monday is the best day to come.)
Q. Can we get ‘em on-line?
A. You betcha. Starting in late May. Go here.
Q. Are there any discounts available for admission tickets?
A. There are several. You can save by buying tickets electronically – save most by buying early. Savings are as much as 47% if you buy online before July 8th., though there is a nominal on-line handling fee
At the gate, on Preview Day, Fri., Sept. 1, active duty military and first responders get in free; admission for adults is $11, Seniors (62 and older) is $9 and kids (2-12) is $8. On Sat., Sun. and Mon., general admission price for adults is $15; active military and seniors is $12 and kids (under 12) is $10. Everyone showing an MTS, Coaster or Amtrak pass or ticket saves $2.00 off regular adult ticket price. Your biggest savings? Our family 4-pack (2 adults and 2 kids). Toddlers are always free.
Q. How young must children be in order to get in free?
A. Admission is free for kids under 2 in strollers.
Q. Are tickets for the sand sculpting event valid for admission to any other event on the Embarcadero?
A. No. Tickets for the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition are valid for the event on the Broadway Pier and Landing only.
Q.Is the event handicap-accessible?
A. Yes. Drop off anyone needing handicap-accessible services very close to our event gate in the parking lane in front of the Broadway Pier, 1000 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.
Do’s and Dont’s
Q. May we take pictures of the amazing sand sculptures, other art work, kids on rides or other activities?
A. Do. Bring your cameras, bring your cell phones, take lots of photos, but please be careful not to obstruct artists, exhibitors or other guests.
Q. May we bring our dog?
A. Don’t. We’re sorry. Due to the nature of the sand sculptures and other artworks, and the large crowds on the pier, this is not a pet-friendly event. (Service dogs, of course, are permitted for the handicapped.)
Q. May we bring bikes, scooters or skateboards into the event?
A. Don’t. No vehicles are permitted on the pier except those utilized by the staff and those needed by the handicapped.
Q. May we picnic on the pier?
A #1. Do. Choose food from up to 15 gourmet food trucks with selections from all over the country and the world. They have beverages too. And we have a beer garden. With the best view on the Bay!
A #2. Don’t. Please don’t bring your own food or drink. Don’t bring picnic tables or chairs. There isn‘t any room for them. Private tables and chairs are strictly prohibited. We have lots of seating.
Q. Should we bring toys for our kids to play with in your giant sandbox?
A. Don’t. No need. We have lots of pails and shovels and even lessons on how to build sandcastles.
Where are we? How do we get there?
Q. What’s the best way to get there?
A. MTS trolleys and buses and the Coaster and Amtrak all stop just 2 blocks from the event, at Santa Fe Depot/Americas Plaza. Deco Bikes has a small – 16 stall – stand just outside our exit gate. See more. Click here.
Q. If I drive, where can I park?
A. You may find parking on the City street grid or in parking lots throughout downtown. There is street parking on North Harbor Drive and parking lots on the Midway and ‘B’ Street piers and on the ‘G’ Street mole. There’s another lot under the County Administration Building accessible from Ash St. between Harbor Drive and Pacific Coast Highway, but available only to County employees on Friday. Get here very early or you may not find space at these locations. There are many other lots throughout downtown, but you’ll need to walk a bit further.
On Sunday and Monday you may park for free at meters and at curbs painted yellow and green. Never park at curbs painted blue (handicapped only) or those painted red or white. You may park further away by the Bayfront Hilton, convention center or Seaport Village to our South or the Sheraton Harbor Island on the North, and take a Port shuttle to the Broadway Pier, in front of our event. See more. Click here.
Q. Is the construction around the pier finished?
A. Yes, the new North Embarcadero bayfront is beautiful. The Port of San Diego invites you to come and enjoy! Construction of the new Lane Field hotel on the East side of Harbor Drive at Broadway is ongoing but is not expected to hinder traffic.
Extra, Extra, read all about it!
Q. Can we buy one of the sand sculptures?
A. Silly. They weigh at least 10 tons each and would completely ruin your lawn. But you can buy fantastic hand-made metal, wood and glass sculpture, clothing and accessories, jewelry, wall decor and more, all from leading artists hand-picked by the producers.
Q. I’m an artist. How can I be part of the Dimensional Art Exposition?
A. We may be able to accommodate you if you apply before Aug. 4th and if your work is accepted by our jury.
Q. Do you have a beer and wine garden?
A. Do we ever. We already told you about this. It’s at the West end of the pier, almost in the middle of the bay. Enjoy the drinks, the camaraderie, the event and the amazing view.
Q. My brother-in-law thinks he’s a big shot. Do you have a V.I.P. program?
A. You betcha. Get him a V.i.P. ticket (as long as he’s gonna reimburse you for it). Gets him quick admittance into the event, access to a special section with a great view of the bay, 2 free drinks (worth a lot), deluxe facilities (he’ll really like that) and more. And if you get the V.I.P. tickets on line early, you’ll save a bundle.
Q. What else is there?
A. You mean besides the world’s best sand sculptors; amazing dimensional art in other media; 12-15 gourmet food trucks; beer and wine garden; live entertainment – bands, singers, dancers, buskers; kids’ sandbox and rides, and the neatest location between the bay and downtown’s castles in the sky? There’s more. Like games going on daily where you might win prizes. And there’s even more. You’ll see.