Summer starts with Sand & Sawdust Festival in Ocean Shores

It seems even Mother Nature is on notice for this weekend’s Sand & Sawdust Festival in Ocean Shores.

The event, which begins Friday, June 24, at 11 a.m. and runs until Sunday, June 26 at 4 p.m., is set to be ushered in by an uncharacteristically warm and sunny weekend this year.

Sand & Sawdust is a festival that honors the unique and harmonious ecosystems of the Olympic Peninsula: from the lush forests to the calm beaches. The festival draws upon these local resources to create live art, and the real attraction of the festival is the Chainsaw Art Show and Auction.

Located at the Ocean Shores Convention Center, the auction will feature work by 25 carvers from all over the world. Over the course of three days, more than 100 chain saw sculptures will be created, and the sculptures will be live auctioned Friday and Saturday beginning at 5 p.m. and Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. The auctions typically last three to four hours.

“We just love the carvers, they do such a fabulous job. It’s so fun to watch them actually make the art while you’re there,” said Diane Solem, General Manager of the Convention Center.

The Convention Center will also play host to more than 40 vendor booths, food trucks, a beer garden and a bar, and live music.

As the sand to the chain saw art show’s sawdust, the Sandcastle Building Contest will take place on the beach on Saturday, June 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Teams will be building sandcastles for this year’s theme “The Beach is Calling!” and interested groups can sign up for the competition online, at the festival, or Saturday morning on the beach.

Cash prizes will be awarded for “Best in Theme,” “Sand Masters Choice,” “Team Spirit Award,” and “People’s Choice.” Registration is $5 per person with a cap of $30 per team.

Form Finders, a master sand sculpting team from Olympia, will be building one of their signature sculptures on Friday, followed up by sandcastle workshops on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning before the competition.

Three sand sculptures will also be featured around town as a part of the Master Sand Sculpture Contest, which begins on Thursday afternoon and ends on Saturday afternoon. Artists will be building their sculptures at the Convention Center, Playtime Family Fun, and Oyhut Bay. It will be up to the elements as to how long the sculptures will last.

Those who want to be more free form than the sand sculpture contest may enjoy the Sand Drawing Celebration, which will take place on the beach Friday and Saturday. Artists will make large geometric drawings in the sand to be washed away by the next tide.

Free classes will also be held Friday morning at 11 a.m. and Saturday morning at 10 a.m. by Justin the Circler so everyone can engage in some sand drawing.

To access the beach, participants and viewers should use the Chance a La Mer entrance next to the Shilo Inn. Activities will be located on the left of the parking poles, to the south. Tents, banners, and the registration table will be visible.

Admission to the festival is free. Hours will be Friday, June 24, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday, June 25, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sunday, June 26, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Ocean Shores Convention Center is located at 120 W Chance a La Mer NW.