Sandy gallery

The Siesta Key Crystal Classic Is Back

Professional and amateur sand masters at the 2022 international sand sculpting competition are primed to make jaws drops Nov. 12-14.

By Kim Doleatto November 1, 2022

A welcome sand sculpture at last year's Siesta Key Crytal Classic.

A welcome sand sculpture at last year's Siesta Key Crystal Classic.

Important Schedule Update

Due to tropical storm conditions, the Siesta Key Crystal Classic will not be open to the public on Friday, Nov. 11. This will allow event organizers and vendors to complete setup in a safe manner.

The festival will be open Saturday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday, Nov. 13, and Monday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Presold Friday tickets will be honored Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Due to space limitations, Friday reserved parking passes will be refunded. To purchase tickets for Saturday, Sunday or Monday and for a complete list of event activities click here

While our neighbors to the north are prepping for snowfall, Siesta Key is primed for another kind of powder play. This year’s Seista Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival runs across four days, from Nov. 12 through 14, turning the Siesta Key's sugar-soft sand into a temporary outdoor art gallery of awe-inspiring creations. If you think that's hyperbole, click here to check out last year's lineup of winners. 

Winning sand sculpture from 2021 called Skull Duggery, by Karen Fralich and Dan Belcher.

Skull Duggery, by Karen Fralich and Dan Belcher won last year's doubles competition.

The event will draw 24 international sand sculpting master artists. Eight will compete in the solo competition, while eight teams of two will compete as duos. They have 24 hours before the event kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 12, (due to tropical storm conditions–it was originally scheduled to kick off Nov. 11.) to work on their sculptures. The winner, picked by a professional committee, will be named on Sunday, Nov. 13. Last year, winners received cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $6,000. 

Attendees can vote for their favorites using wooden tokens purchased at the event on the event website and Facebook page until Monday, Nov. 14, at 5 p.m. A People’s Choice winner will be crowned on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

Beyond the competition, there will be live music daily, dozens of food and retail vendors, plus sand sculpting demonstrations and lessons for the whole family. A full bar area will also be on site. Tickets to attend range from $5-$30 and can be purchased here.

Amateur Hour

Want to try your hand at sand sculpting? Register online to enter the amateur competition, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. There will be 25 reserved sand plots for families and solo hobbyists. Registration costs $10 to $50, depending on the category, and is first come, first served. Amateur prizes will earn winners bragging rights in addition to $25-$75, depending on the category.

The event is organized by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, which is expecting between 20,000 and 40,000 attendees, depending on the weather. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s event benefits scholarships for Ringling College of Art and Design students.

Event hours are Friday, Sunday and Monday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Click here for a detailed schedule. Transportation on and off Siesta Key is available via the mobile app, at, or by calling (941) 300-1553, and the free Siesta Key Breeze Trolley will run daily from 8 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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