‘B’ Street Pier
1140 North Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

2019 Winners
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John Gowdy

Sculpting Since:  1990
Location:   Jersey Boy, now living in Italy

John isn’t your average retired Atlantic City firefighter.  In fact, there’s nothing average about John at all.  He’s been fighting fires since 1980 and sculpting sand since 1990.  He retired as a Fire Captain in 2006, moved to Italy and became a full-time (and already internationally acclaimed) artist in several media.  He sculpts in marble, as well as sand.

And he paints the world’s leading personalities in minutes, using a technique he calls “Flying Colors.”

John has helped bring sand sculpting into the public consciousness with appearances on The Discovery Channel, the syndicated Martha Stewart Show, and The Travel Channel’s Sand Wars. He’s a hero in his native Atlantic City, and to sand aficionados everywhere.

Notable Achievements:

  • Many first place awards worldwide as both amateur and professional
  • Winner of “Sand Wars” on The Travel Channel
  • Created and presented a sand replica of the Pontiff’s Argentinian Cathedral to Pope Francis at the Vatican
  • Performed his “Flying Colors” for Queen Elizabeth on her Diamond Jubilee

Website: http://www.johngowdy.com

USSSC + DAE is cancelled.

It was our great honor to have produced this iconic event for 8 years.  USA Today had named it to the ‘Top 10 in the Nation’ and American Express called it ‘one of the top 20 seaside festivals in the world’.

Hundreds of millions of media impressions were registered worldwide and over 40,000 attended the festivities each year on the downtown San Diego embarcadero. 

We thank the Master Sand Artists from Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas who created magnificent sculptures from nothing more than sand and water, as well as the artists who work in other media, the entertainers, food providers, sponsors, media, staff, suppliers, volunteers and the Port of San Diego who made the event possible.

Should a title sponsor or new production company wish to bring it back to benefit local non-profits and the Southern California community at large, we will endeavor to help advise as long as we are able. 

For now, enjoy the website from years past.*

Thank you once more.

Joyce and Gordon Summer, Executive Producers

on behalf of Bruce, Tricia, Steve and the entire USSSC team.

This Website sculpted one grain at a time by Web Services Management.