SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge is about to get underway.

The annual event brings artists from around the world to San Diego to transform mounds of sand into incredible sights.

This will be the fourth year that one of the world's most important sand-sculpting competitions will be held with over 300 tons of sand dumped on the pier in San Diego. When completed, the sandcastles will stretch nearly 1,000 feet into the bay.

The event helps draw 250,000 to downtown and has a $2 million economic impact on San Diego.

It's open to the public September 4th to the 7th, just in time for Labor Day weekend. Active duty military, EMT's, fire and police individuals are admitted to the event free with valid ID on the first day of the event.

CBS News 8's Ashley Jacobs, in the above video, reports from downtown.