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Texas SandFest a Shore Bet in Port A

Just one of the many amazing sand sculptures that will be in progress and on display at Texas SandFest in Port Aransas on April 26-28.

Time to tide one on at the annual Texas SandFest in Port Aransas, where shoppers gonna shop, music’s gonna play, and artists gonna build amazing sculptures of sand on sand. The fun begins at noon Friday, April 26, and ends at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 28.

In between watching internationally renowned sand sculptors compete against each other for a variety of titles, visitors can slide down The Hippo, a 40-foot tall, 120-foot long inflatable wet slide; jump on the bungee trampoline; join the amateur sand castle building contest; learn sand castle building techniques; listen to live music; eat, shop, and more.


• Everything is on a cash-only basis, so bring plenty, although ATMs will be available on the SandFest grounds.

• Wristbands for all three days are available at the entrance gates: $15 for ages 13 and up; $5 for ages 6-12; free for kids 5 and under. No advance sales of wristbands.

• Hippo slide wristbands are $20 per person. One ride is $3; two rides, $5.

• Trampoline bungee is $10 per person.

• RTA buses provide transportation to and from Roberts Point Park near the ferry landing and the beach at the end of Sandcastle Drive. Parking is free; shuttle bus is 75 cents per person. First pickup at the park is 10 a.m.; last pickup at Sandcastle is 8 p.m.

• Free golf cart shuttles will transport attendees between Access Road 1A and the beach and the remote parking lot at Gracie’s Way and 1A.

• Parking lots on the beach are at the north entrance near Avenue G and the south entrance near Access Road 1A.

• A $12 parking permit (good until Dec. 31, 2019!) is required to park on the beach. Permits can be purchased on the beach (cash only), at the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce at 403 W. Cotter, at any Stripes convenience store, or at the IGA Family Center at 418 S. Alister.

• Handicapped parking is available in the north SandFest lot near Mile Marker 8. Space is limited.

• SandFest grounds open to foot traffic only.

• SandFest continues rain or shine.


• Ice chests and coolers

• Chairs

• Snacks and drinks

• Dogs, but they must be leashed at all times and cleaned up after (bags available). Dogs can be ejected from the site at the discretion of security.


• Golf carts

• Skateboards

• Bicycles

• Pop-up tents

• Shelters

• Drones or other remote flying devices


The fun begins with a flag-raising ceremony at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, April 25, on Tribute Mountain, located at the north entrance to the SandFest site. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. Flags will be raised by the Moore-McDonald VFW Post 8967 and will fly the sandy skies throughout the weekend.

9 A.M.-7 P.M. FRIDAY, APRIL 26

  • 9 a.m.-6 p.m. — Masters’ Gallery open
  • 9 a.m.-7 p.m. — Vendors open
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. — Lesson Mountain open
  • 10 a.m.-7 p.m. — Beer Garden open
  • Noon-2 p.m. — Raeanne & The Ride (Music Tent)
  • 2:30-4:30 p.m. — Debra Watson & the Smokin’ Aces (Music Tent)
  • 3-6:30 p.m. — Amateur check-in (North Entrance, Volunteer Check-in Tent)
  • 5-7 p.m. — Two Tons of Steel (Music Tent)


  • 7:30-8:30 a.m. — Amateur Contest Check-In (South Entrance)
  • 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. — Adult & Teen Amateur contests
  • 9 a.m.-Noon — Guppy & Youth Amateur contests
  • 9 a.m.-6 p.m. — Masters’ Gallery open
  • 9 a.m.-7 p.m. — Vendors open
  • 10-11:30 a.m. — Rich Lockhart (Music Tent)
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. — Lesson Mountain open
  • 10 a.m.-7 p.m. — Beer Garden open
  • Noon-2 p.m. — Bonnie Lang (Music Tent)
  • 2:30-4:30 p.m. — Christian Sparks & the Beatnik Bandits (Music Tent)
  • 4:30-5 p.m. — Amateur Contest Winners announced (Music Tent)
  • 5-7 p.m. — Jagertown (Music Tent)

9 A.M.-6 P.M. SUNDAY, APRIL 28

  • 9 a.m.-6 p.m. — Masters’ Gallery open
  • 9 a.m.-6 p.m. — Vendors open
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. — Lesson Mountain open
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. — David Russell & Port City Blues (Music Tent)
  • Noon-6 p.m. — Beer Garden open
  • 1:30-3:30 p.m. — James Buffaloe & the Heard (Music Tent)
  • 4-5 p.m. — Golf Cart Raffle Drawing, Master & Semi-Pro Awards Announced (Music Tent)
  • 5-7 p.m. — Passing Strangers (Music Tent)

On your way home, be sure to pencil in next year’s event so you won’t miss it. The 2020 SandFest is set for April 17-19.

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