Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival - 2023 Edition

By Published On: April 7th, 2023

The Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival in Clearwater Beach

Published on 04/07/23: Hope everyone has had a great week! We enjoyed hosting family from out of town and playing tour guide. Busy week, but love calling the Tampa Bay Area home! Anyone ready for the weekend?! [raises hand excitedly]

Couple Items:

  1. Today is opening day for the 2023 Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival, presented by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. More on that below! The theme is Decades, as the sculptors take a trip back in time.
  2. LovingStPete started a new Facebook group to give YOU a forum to share your love of our area. Actually, any beachfront or waterfront area. Post a pic of your favorite beach, sandbar, waterway, boating area, etc. Tag the area/place when possible. We’re talking beautiful water and beach views from around the world. Inspiration to those who love to explore! Here’s the URL: https://www.facebook.com/groups/boatandbeach

The Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

Onto the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival, an event that “pays tribute to Tampa Bay’s two most valuable assets: our sugar sands and our sunsets!”. For the next 17 days, Clearwater Beach transforms to a world of sand sculpting. Aspects of the festival are free, though to access the 21,000 sqft tent of sand sculptures, you’ll need a ticket. The organizers mention the proceeds benefit charities around the Tampa Bay area and offset cost of the master sculptors who come from around the world. From a free perspective, you’ll be able to see the fireworks (every Saturday at 9:30pm), concerts, partake in the sand sculpting classes and more.

Sugar Sand Fest Ticket Cost

The tent’s entry cost is $14/person and free for ages 3 and under. VIP Lounge tickets are $70. Here’s the link for tickets: https://www.sugarsandfestival.com/p/tickets (all on-site ticket purchases are cashless payment options only). Note that if you’re military, police officer, firefighter, teacher or healthcare worker, you can purchase $10 tickets on “Frontline Fridays” April 7th, April 14th and April 21st.

Free Classes to Learn Sand Sculpting

Upon arrival, you’ll be transported to the world where the imaginations of skilled artists run wild. You can even participate in free classes to learn the skills necessary to build your own. I’m mentioning these classes near the top of the post, given the general “experiences” theme of LovingStPete. The classes are daily at 2pm, except on Saturdays, when it’s at 11am.

Free Activities at the Sugar Sand Festival in Clearwater Beach

Additionally, they offer other free activities for all ages, “including a children’s play area, street performers, artisans, live entertainment, fireworks, sand sculpting classes, speed sand demonstrations and the master sand sculpting competition”.  There’s also a cornhole tournament tomorrow (Saturday 4/8)!

Ferris Wheel and Bounce Houses

For a $7/person fee you can ride the Ferris wheel and for $3/person you’ll have access to the inflatables (ie bounce houses). There’s also $20 and $30 options for unlimited access, respectively.

Give their Facebook page a follow if you’re curious on future days and events! For instance, per the event’s page, today alone has the following happening:

“- Sugar Sand Festival hours 10 am – 10 pm

– Souvenir Photo Hours: 10 am- 9:30 pm

– College Wall Art Master Sand Sculpting Competition

– Artisans and Street Performers

– Ferris Wheel and Inflatables

– FREE sand sculpting class 2 pm

– Tropico Sand Bar 3 pm by Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa

– Hooters Hangout Entertainment: 3-7 pm Brek Milo

– BayStar Restaurant Group VIP Lounge Experience: 5pm

– Frenchy’s Free Beach Concerts: 7:30 pm Shawn Scheller & The Contenders”

Items Allowed:


Low lying beach chairs

Not Allowed:

Pets – only service animals are permitted on the sand. Pets however are permitted on the sidewalks, so long as they are on a leash.

Grills, hibachis, or open flames of any kind.

Glass containers or bottles

Tents, canopies or umbrellas

The Sugar Sand Festival is Rain or Shine

This is a Rain or Shine event, as the sculptures are under a large tent. High winds are evidently the bigger threat to these sand sculptures and could close the festival at times.


We have 2 complimentary sand wheelchairs and 2 motorized SandHelpers available at the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival. They are available on a first come, first serve basis with a photo i.d. and signed waiver. There is a hard surface leading from the public sidewalk to the entrance of the Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit where the sand wheelchairs will be located. Thank you so much to Fun Ride Rentals for your partnership! For more information on additional beach wheelchair rentals, please contact Fun Ride Rentals for rates at (727) 519-3008 and Sand Helper at 727-213-5700 or https://www.sandhelper.com/


Parking: Per the event organizers, “if you arrive early in the day parking is plentiful in one of the three parking garages. If you are planning on attending later in the afternoon, may we suggest using the FREE Park and Ride from downtown Clearwater or the water taxi.” Please visit their website and social media accounts for additional details.

Address: 1 Causeway Blvd, Clearwater, FL

Google Reviews: 261 with a 4.8 average

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

As a local St Petersburg Realtor, with over 28K people following my LovingStPete Guide on Social Media. I know our area well and would love the opportunity to assist you! You’ll receive up to $10K at closing when you use my LovingStPete Team to buy or sell a property. I love our industry so much that I developed a vacation rental advertising business and ran it for a decade (before selling to HomeAway/VRBO). I’m a Florida native and St. Pete resident who is ready to earn your real estate business! Simply contact me.

Photo credit to Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival on Facebook

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Written by : St Petersburg Realtor, Mike Braswell

Mike Braswell is a Tampa Bay Realtor, serving St Petersburg, Clearwater, all nearby beaches and more. Mike started LovingStPete in October of 2020 after a difficult year took its toll on local businesses. After being cooped up for portions of 2020 (lockdown) Mike and his son decided to get out and explore, helping spread the good word about the local area he loves so much. Often even doing gift card giveaways to support local. LovingStPete is now followed by over 48 thousand people on social media! The majority of posts are informative on fun parks, activities, day trips, great restaurants, and in general provide a comprehensive tour of the area!

Soon after receiving his bachelors in Management Information Systems, Mike developed and then operated a vacation rental advertising business for 10+ years as CEO/Owner. The business was eventually acquired by VRBO. Mike has earned the trust of many large clients over the years. Such as NFL, Wynn Resorts, Blue Cross Blue Shield, VISA, Genuine Parts Company (NAPA Auto Parts), AT&T, and other Fortune 500 companies.

When not spending time with his beautiful wife and energetic son, Mike enjoys boating and is also an avid tennis player. An interesting fact about Mike is that he grew up on an avocado farm with over 15 varieties, some of which you can find in our local Publix/Winn Dixie as his dad still farms the same farm at 87 years old!

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