art car weekend 2019

Houston's over-the-top parties get rolling with whimsical Art Car Parade weekend

Houston's over-the-top parties get rolling with art car weekend

Art Car parade downtown fisheye
Kooky cars get the party rolling.  Photo by Morris Malakoff
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Art Car Ball is one colorful party.  Julie Birsinger Photo by © Michelle Watson/
28th Annual Houston Art Car Parade: Awards Ceremony Brunch
Recover at the Art Car Awards Brunch. 
Art Car parade downtown fisheye
News_007_Art Car Ball_Julie Birsinger.jpg
28th Annual Houston Art Car Parade: Awards Ceremony Brunch

It's that time of year again, when crazy-looking cars are seen all over the streets and freeways of this city. And you know what that means? The 2019 Houston Art Car Parade Weekend is right around the corner.

That annual, four-day spectacle — its 32nd annual, to be exact — will once again spotlight creatively crafted cars that are functional works of art. Of course, the weekend will consist of more than just the parade. Here is a rundown of all the events that'll be happening during this very colorful, festive occasion: 


Things will kick out with a couple of free events. The Main Street Drag will start at 9 am at the Orange Show headquarters, as four mini-parades roll around H-Town visiting schools, nursing homes and developmental centers. Later that evening at 6 pm, you can catch a Sneak Peek at Discovery Green & Avenida Houston. Nearly 100 art cars will be there, along with live music by Saved by the '90s, Swimwear Department, and Divisi Strings Quartet.


You definitely can't have an Art Car Weekend without The Legendary Art Car Ball. From 7 to 11 pm, City Hall will be turned into art-car palace, complete with illuminated art cars, outrageous costumers, interactive art installations, fire dancers — the whole schmear. Catch live music from New Orleans burlesque rapper Boyfriend, Austin punk band Sailor Poon (yikes!), Houston's Free Rads Street Band, and DJ Fredster. Tickets are $30 ($35 at the door).


Of course, this is the day of the Houston Art Car Parade, going down at Allen Parkway and Downtown Houston, between 2 and 4 pm. Over 250 mobile masterpieces will take to the streets, including 40 student-led projects (the most ever). Over half of the entries are new and have never been seen before, and that includes modified automobiles, painted cars, wheeled contraptions, low-riders, etc. For a full map of the parade route, visit the parade site

Before the parade, there will be several events popping off. Over at Sam Houston Park at 11 am, the Kids' Creative Zone is looking to lure in families with interactive art activities from Houston Museum of Natural Science, City ArtWorks, GirlStart, Houston Public Library, and others. Also at 11, spectators can hang out with the artists at the Lineup Party on Allen Parkway at Heiner St., which will also have live music from Swimwear Department, DJ Blue Heron Yacht Club, and DJ Splice of Life.

And the VIPit Experience, the largest fundraiser for the Houston Art Car Parade, will welcome 2,000 guests to City Hall for shaded, reserved seating, complimentary food from 15 restaurants and live music from Below Skies. That's at noon.


The weekend comes to a close with the Art Car Awards Ceremony & Brunch, held at the Orange Show, at 11 am. $10,000 in prize money — as well as some elaborate trophies — will be given out. It's free to both the public and all the art-car artists. Light bites and beverages will be provided.

For more information, visit the official site