Sandcastle Festival upgraded this year

Cobourg’s Sandcastle festival on the Saturday of the August long weekend (the 4th) will be more fun this year – there will be a live DJ (the DJ is live, not the music), free live entertainment by Mark Sepic the “Nutty Music Professor”, a Kid’s zone, an inflatable Fun Park (for $5) and of course a Sandcastle competition and Sand Sculpting Lessons.  The Schedule of events is being made available in advance (see below) and the event runs at the same time as the Downtown Sidewalk Sale so once again Cobourg should get a lot of visitors. There’s a kids movie in Victoria Park at sunset (Sherlock Gnomes) so overall it seems to be aimed at families although the Sidewalk sale is for shoppers of all ages.

Karen Fralich
Karen Fralich

The sandcastle completion usually draws competitors from all over Ontario and this year Toronto’s five-time world champion Karen Fralich will be giving sand sculpting lessons.

The live entertainment by Mark Sepic happens at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Mark is a musician and environmentalist and performs in schools, galleries and festivals throughout Ontario.

Last year, the Festival had to cope with high lake water level so the beach was a bit narrower than usual but that will not be a problem this year.  See a video of last year here.

Vendors at the Sidewalk sale will be pleased to know that the $5 wristbands at the beach will also be valid at the Downtown inflatables so families will be encouraged to include Downtown in their visit.

The Town’s announcement also says:

Open to aspiring artists of every skill level the Sandcastle Festival is designed to encourage everyone to participate including businesses, youth, adult and families. Interested sculptors can register online at or onsite at the registration table on Saturday, August 4th at 8:30 a.m.  All sculptors are asked to pay $5/person and all teams have a chance to win cash prizes within each category and the coveted event title.

Sculptors are given a team flag and a 20′ x 20′ space to design within. Using only the existing sand and water the competition will begin at 10:30 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. with an awards ceremony held shortly after at 4:30 p.m. at the DJ Booth.

The Sandcastle Festival has been recognized countless times as one of the most well-known and respected festivals and events within the province, Cobourg’s Sandcastle Festival placed among this year’s ‘Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario’ (FEO). The festival has also been internationally recognized, receiving the Pinnacle Award with the International Festival and Events Association.

Oh, and once again, there will be a Fireworks display – this time at 10:30 p.m.

Here is the schedule

Time Activities Details Admission
8 a.m. Master Sculptors Begin    
8:30 a.m. Registration Begins – Amateur Competition Under Blue Tent  
10 a.m. Sand Sculpting Lessons    
10 a.m., 12 p.m.
and 2 p.m.
The Nutty Music Professor Performs   Free
10:30 a.m. Competition Begins Cobourg Beach  
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Kid’s Zone Open
Inflatable Fun Park Open*
Live DJ on Beach
  *$5 wristband – Buy at Registration Tent
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Judging Cobourg Beach  
4:30 p.m. Awards Presentation at DJ Booth Cobourg Beach  
8:30 p.m. Movie in the Park Sherlock Gnomes Free
10:30 p.m. Fireworks over the Pier Pier Free

The Sandcastle Festival is organized by The Town of Cobourg and supported by major sponsors including Cameco, the Cobourg Public Library, GMC, New Amherst Homes and Thomas Cobourg.

The Sidewalk Sale is organized by the DBIA and runs from Thursday August 2nd through Sunday August 5th.

For a complete calendar of Cobourg’s events, go here.

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5 years ago

Our lovely sandy beach here in Cobourg is one of the features that I love the most, and every year when summer rolls around, I can hardly wait to walk barefoot from end-to-end….the feel of the warm sand is such a sensory pleasure! Whenever I stop to talk with visitors, they also love our Cobourg sandy beach, and I’ve been told by several visitors from Toronto that the beaches there are not nearly as clean……broken bottles & dirty syringes found hidden in the sand, have discouraged folks from wanting to spend time there. Comments like that came to mind today while coming out of the water from one of our regular swims. As I was making my way back to our blanket, I spotted poking up from the sand, a very large chunk of what looked to be a broken beer bottle (about 1″ in size). I went to the nearest garbage over by the lifeguard stand, and on my way there, I looked down to spot yet another smaller piece of a brown glass. I took a moment to talk with the Lifeguard on-duty, and she mentioned that unfortunately, they have been finding quite a bit of broken glass in the sand this summer…….even around the volleyball nets. From now on, I know I will probably be a lot more cautious when leisurely walking barefoot along the sand. I know the beach sand here is carefully swept every evening, and we have the proper equipment to do this, but I mainly just felt concerned enough about this broken glass to express my story here. We certainly all want to have fun and enjoy ourselves at our beautiful Cobourg beach……especially with the Sandcastle Festival event coming up.

Walter L. Luedtke
5 years ago

Thank you to the organizers and sponsors for another ‘blue ribbon’ event – our 13th sandcastle festival.
Good to see our beach being put to multiple uses and competitors and visitors from across the Province and beyond joining the fun.
The widely-read Tripadvisor Website gave last year’s event a glowing review with over 420 of 470 reviewers rating it ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.
Cobourg truly has something for everyone.

Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
5 years ago

Right on Walter….great time for all.
Cobourg, great place to live or visit.
Watch out for the sharks…in the water that is….

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Pierre
5 years ago

LOL Pierre!
I see the sharks are circling you too.
Didn’t know that Cobourg beach has a ‘Blue Flag’, one of only 27 so designated across Canada.
“Blue Flag is a world-renowned eco-certification for beaches and marinas.
When you see a Blue Flag flying, you know a beach or marina is clean and accessible; has great water quality; meets high safety standards; and is working hard to protect local shorelines and ecosystems.
Blue Flags are flying at 27 beaches and eight marinas in Canada.”

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
5 years ago

Sort of negates the town stance on feeding wildfowl in the west harbour causing Algae bloom/ pollution etc.doesn’t it ?
The biggest creator of pollution is man .but nothing is done about that except talk.

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Bill Thompson
5 years ago

Still smarting from from your scoff-law charges in 2014?
As far as feeding waterfowl in the harbour is concerned, perhaps you should listen to our Willow Beach Field Naturalists: “People who feed wildlife usually do so with the best intentions, said Petra Hartwig, speaking on behalf of the Willow Beach Field Naturalists. But feeding waterfowl can create many problems for the birds and almost always results in negative consequences for both humans and wildlife involved, she said.”

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
5 years ago

Not in the least am I “smarting”!
You’ve obviously forgotten about a previous mayor who encouraged feeding starving wildfowl in extreme winters,the public donated money and corn was bought from a farmer..
Was that a bylaw infraction back then or was the marina expansion dream not a major town goal ,negating wildlife /nature survival ?
Cobourg is one of the few municipalities who do not permit assisting wildlife survival in difficult times and have no value put on wildlife in pursuit of revenue.. It’s all about making money by destroying the most valuable asset, not concern for the survival of what is truly valuable.
Perhaps you should expand your knowledge and speak to wildlife sanctuaries and those who are licensed wildlife custodians to get the true picture of worthwhile priorities and what they are accomplishing with the majority of public support.