Terrific Traffic: The Houston Art Car Parade

Madisen Tucker, Editor-in-Chief

Watch the art come rolling in this weekend at the thirty-fifth annual Houston Art Car Parade.

The event takes place starting Thursday, April 7 and will carry on through Sunday, April 10.

The parade weekend features over 250 mobile works of art crafted and built by different
artists, families, schools, corporations and non-profit organizations.

The event is powered by Orange Show Center for Visionary Art believes that the parade allows
for the celebration of artists and their “drive to create.”

What started the tradition was the work of one artist with an $800 budget and selection of
plastic fruit. ‘Fruitmobile’ was created by Jackie Harris after she won an auction car from the
Orange Show Foundation gala benefit in 1967.

Her art piece inspired a chain of art cars to be created over the years, starting out with smaller
exhibition pieces.

On June 29, 1986 Susanne Demchak organized the first “Road Show” at The Orange Show. An
estimated 1,400 Houstonians gathered to watch or participate in the 40-car event.

Today the parade attracts a live audience of over 250,000 spectators and is the main attraction
of a four-day event. Parade entries can include anything that has a set of wheels and anyone
from Canada to Mexico can enter.

The schedule for the event is as follows:
On Thursday, April 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. is The Main Street Drag.
The Main Street Drag is the first event of the parade weekend in which the car artists take the
parade to those who might not be able to get to the event. This includes developmental
centers, schools, nursing homes, hospitals and other similar facilities.
Also, on Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. is the Sneak Peek at Discovery Green.
This event highlights the music, food and kid activities that will be available during the
weekend, all located on the grounds of Discovery Green in Downtown Houston.
On Friday, April 8 from 6-11 p.m. is the Legendary Art Car Ball.

The art car ball annually takes place on the eve of the parade and is known as the place to show
off weird and colorful cars.

There’s going to be live performances and art displays from:
Golden Dawn Arkestra
Bayou City Comeback Choir
Houston’s A.S.S.
DJ Boogie Soul
Ms. YET and the Renegade Carnies

Taking place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 9 is the Starting Line Party.

Located at Heiner St. and Allen Parkway is the spot to be for when the parade kicks off. Live
music, food and drinks are all offered to the public. The best part of it all, admission is free.

Tickets are available for reserved bleacher seating along Allen Parkway at Sam Houston Park
Starting at 11 a.m. and running until 2 p.m. is the H-E-B Kids Creative Zone. The zone has fun
interactive art displays and other activates for children of all ages.

The thirty-fifth annual Houston art car parade is slated to kick off at 2 p.m.

The final event of the parade is the award ceremony at 11 a.m.

Every year the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art awards over $15,000 in prize money to
artists, schools and teams. The money is awarded after each car goes through the judging

Clear Lake High School even has a car in the parade, titled “Cyberpunk Funk.”

The public is welcomed to come cheer for not only the winners but their favorite cars as well.