What began as a community-building event in 1964 has evolved into one of the largest and sandiest events on the West Coast, and will be held this year on June 15. The Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest, recognized as an Oregon Heritage Tradition by the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department, celebrates 60 years of creative castles built from sand and accented with only natural materials found on the beach, such as shells, rocks and seaweed. The very first event took place with Cannon Beach residents in isolation after a tsunami washed out the city’s Elk Creek Bridge, rendering the city an island. In 2024, the contest draws entrants and viewers from across the country for a weekend of sand architecture, bonfires, s’mores and a 5K fun run/walk. Afterwards, find the works of sandcastle art dotted along the Cannon Beach shoreline until the next high tide. See cannonbeach.org.