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26th Annual Houston Art Car Parade

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Roadside Attractions: The Art Car Parade was born in April, 1988 with a 40 car parade seen by an estimated 2,000.

In 1987, the Houston International Festival, the City's official celebration of the arts, asked the Orange Show to organize a parade to build on the success of the New Music Parade. The Orange Show agreed to produce an event dedicated to art cars. Roadside Attractions: The Art Car Parade was born in April, 1988 with a 40 car parade seen by an estimated 2,000. By the following year, the parade size doubled and the crowd swelled to tens of thousands. Another important milestone came in 1989, when Harrod Blank came from California with his art car, "Oh My God." On a quest to document America's art cars that eventually led to his two books and two films on art cars, Harrod told artists all over the nation about the Houston Art Car Parade, and soon we began to see caravans of art cars travel thousands of miles to be in the parade. Another major milestone was the entry of Rebecca Bass and Edison Middle School in 1990. "The Body Shop" went on to win major awards, and started educators across the city to see art car projects as tools to teach life skills and engage students with their schools and community.

The Art Car Parade Today

  • Today, the Art Car Parade is the highlight of a three-day celebration of the drive to create, Art Car Weekend.
  • The parade attracts 250+ vehicles and other entries from 23 states along with Canada and Mexico
  • A live audience of some 250,000+ spectators

Parade entries include anything on wheels from

  • unicycles to
  • lawnmowers to
  • cars and go-carts

Entries are as likely to be made by members of the general public as by recognized artists

Community groups, public and private schools, and professional organizations have become regular participants. Inspired by what they see, spectators create art cars of their own and often become future participants. And as the parade grows, attracting more and more participants, the complexity and quality of the entries increases.

  • The Houston Art Car Weekend is fantastic, fun, and the Parade is FREE!
  • Join us Saturday, May 11, 2013 for the 26th Annual Houston Art Car Parade!
  • The Art Car Parade runs along Allen Parkway, from Waugh to Bagby!
  • It is the Largest Art Car Parade in the world!

Houston Art Car Weekend is the Orange Show's biggest outreach program, a vehicle for the message that art is an integral part of everyone's everyday life. The weekend's events are part folk art, part fine art, part wholly artistic expression of every kind, entirely monumental and thoroughly spectacular!

The Weekend's Festivities Include:

  • The Legendary Art Car Ball
  • Main Street Drag
  • Sneak Peek at Discovery Green
  • Starting Line Party
  • VIPit Party
  • 26th Annual Houston Art Car Parade
  • Awards Ceremony Brunch

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