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Amazin' Walter McDonald

Amazin' Walter has competed at almost every Texas SandFest. He has competed as a solo and with several different partners, mostly with his daughter, Christy. Together, they have won nine awards at Texas SandFest. At 82, he is the oldest sand sculptor in captivity. This year he will be celebrated in the new “Celebrity Corner” inside the gallery alongside the other Master sculptors. 

Stop by and say hi and take your picture with him! 

Walter has popularized and perfected many different techniques of building sand sculptures. He hand stacks the sand like pancakes to make towers and arches, then carves them into whimsical castles. Folks the world over are amazed by the detail and beauty of his castles. Walter is also known as the arch wizard and famous for including an outhouse in every castle that he builds. 

Things you may not know about the Amazin' Walter….

  • Originally from Orange, Texas. 
  • Married to Lucky Laurie Gaudi for 10 years, dated for 19. 
  • Built his first sandcastle for money in 1985. 
  • He writes and plays his own songs on guitar, ukulele, and three-string cigar box guitars. 
  • Also plays the harmonica. 
  • Don’t ask him to play the trombone (Yes, he has one).
  • He is a very good dancer. 
  • He is an award-winning photographer and has worked at several newspapers. 
  • Had one brother and a half-sister. 
  • Has one daughter and one son-in law that he adores. 
  • He is an excellent pool player and plays one handed, left or right. 
  • Vows to have 1000 projects started before he departs this world. 
  • Likes to play games and is good at them.  
  • His front porch hammock is his happy place. 
  • Worked as the Balloon Guy, twisting balloons at Blackbeard’s Restaurant on South Padre Island for 25 years.
  • Makes jewelry and dabbles in bone/antler carving as well as pottery. 
  • Was featured on the first Get Dirty, Play In The Sand T-shirt (and all the rest, save one). 
  • Has participated in Sand Blasters and Race Against the Tide reality TV shows. 
  • Built a sandcastle for Oprah in the Bahamas. 
  • Has been on Texas Country Reporter with Bob Phillips, twice and is in the book. 
  • Tried to run away with the circus, had to give it back. (Joke)

All in all, Amazin' Walter is still dazzling his admirers with all the crazy stuff he does. Who knows what his next adventure might be!

Be sure to stop by the celebrity corner and meet the legend.  Become amazed and inspired by his talent and smile. 

An old man in a straw tophat squats next to a large sandcastle. The front of the casgtle says, "Unlitter."