Canned food structures on display for Phoenix ‘Canstruction’ competition

Jul 20, 2018, 4:55 AM | Updated: 9:56 am
(KTAR News/Griselda Zetino)...
(KTAR News/Griselda Zetino)
(KTAR News/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, a “Star Wars” AT-AT walker and a puppy sitting in a food bowl.

Those are a few of the seven structures made entirely of canned foods taking part in this year’s Phoenix “Canstruction” competition.

The structures were built by teams of construction workers, engineers and architects from firms across Arizona. They’re on display through Saturday morning at the Phoenix Convention Center.

The favorite one so far was inspired by the Pixar movie “Up.”

“That one is decidedly an impressive thing to see in person,” said Steven Still, co-chair of Phoenix Canstruction. “Photos do not do that one justice.”

The public can vote for their favorite structure by “liking” a photo through the Phoenix Canstruction’s Facebook page. Wednesday is the last day to vote.

A people’s winner will be picked, along with winners for best use of labels, most cans and best structure ingenuity.

Once the structures are taken down, the 41,000 cans used to build them will be donated to the St. Mary’s Food Bank.

“Summer is a very tough time for St. Mary’s Food Bank,” Still said.

“Donations are down. People are on vacation. Kids aren’t in school. Fundraisers are at a minimum, and it’s just too hot to do much. They greatly appreciate the donation of a little over 41,000 cans that we’ll be turning over to them.”

Still said at least three months goes into planning for each structure. He said the teams spend a lot of time not just designing their structure, but also picking out the cans and working with stores to purchase large amounts of cans.

“Most firms will do a test build at their offices just to make sure their structure is going to stand up,” he said. “Build day is usually a beehive activity.”

“Some firms bring 10 people. Some firms bring 30,” Still added. “Only five can work at a time but the rest cheer them on.”

Since the competition began in Arizona 12 years ago, nearly 500,000 cans have been collected and donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank. Similar completions are held worldwide.

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Canned food structures on display for Phoenix ‘Canstruction’ competition