Houston’s 31st Annual Art Car Parade Is Nearly Upon Us

by Glasstire March 30, 2018
Image from the 2017 Art Car Parade. Photo by Morris Malakoff.

Image from the 2017 Art Car Parade. Photo by Morris Malakoff.

The organizers of Houston’s famed Art Car Parade, the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, has announced the schedule and programming for the 31st annual Art Car Parade weekend. It happens April 12-15, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 ‘mobile masterpieces’ as its centerpiece. They’ll roll along Allen Parkway and through downtown Houston on Smith Street on Saturday, April 14, but the “weekend” is really four days of events, some of which are listed at the bottom of this post.

But first, the Orange show has released some interesting statistics about this year’s entries. For this year’s parade, there are:

129 new, never-before-seen entries; 34 youth entries (19 from HISD schools); 95 Daily Drivers (artists who drive their art cars regularly); 41 entries coming from 100 miles or more outside of Houston; 11 non-profit entries; and 21 Low-Riders.

Here are some highlights of the schedule, directly via the Orange Show:

Thursday, April 12:

Main Street Drag

9am – 1pm – All Over Houston

“An annual Houston Art Car Weekend tradition, the Main Street Drag brings the parade to the people, allowing those who may be unable to attend Saturday’s main event an opportunity to preview some of the participating art cars, meet with the artists, and experience first-hand the ‘drive to create!'”

Friday, April 13:

The Legendary Art Car Ball

7pm – 11pm – Herman Square at City Hall – Tickets $30 in advance / $35 at the door

“One of the most talked about parties all year, The Legendary Art Car Ball is the ultimate kick off to parade day and a chance to let your creativity shine!”

Saturday, April 14:

The Lineup Party at The Houston Art Car Parade presented by The Great Texas BBQ Festival

11am – Allen Parkway & Gilette St. – FREE

“Head out to Allen Parkway early for The Lineup Party presented by The Great Texas BBQ Festival! Live music on the stage at Gilette & Allen Parkway will get you in the mood for the day’s festivities, with food trucks and beverages available. The Lineup Party is a great place to bring the whole family to meet the artists and help them get ready to roll in the main event.”

The 31st Annual Houston Art Car Parade

2pm – Allen Parkway & Smith Street in Downtown Houston – FREE

“Making a move back to Allen Parkway while incorporating Smith and Bagby streets in Downtown Houston, this year’s Houston Art Car Parade will be one of the longest parade routes in recent memory… .”

Sunday, April 15

Houston Art Car Awards Ceremony & Brunch

12pm – Smither Park, 2441 Munger St. – FREE

“Capping off Houston Art Car Weekend, the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art will host a public awards ceremony & brunch, giving out over $10,000 in prize money to winners in 13 categories, using criteria such as overall theme, craftsmanship, design, originality and transformation. The public is invited to beautiful Smither Park for a final opportunity to mingle with the artists, take pictures of the cars, and see all of the prizes be awarded.

For more information on all of these events and for the full list of programming, please go here.








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