As locals know, springtime in Houston means it's once again time for the Art Car Parade.
For the 36th year, 250 rolling masterpieces will take over the city’s streets as thousands of fans cheer them on from the sidelines. But before that happens, some other Art Car-related events will be going down.
Festivities will start off on Tuesday, April 11, as the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art and the Art Car Museum (6 pm-8 pm; 140 Heights Blvd.) will host an intriguing discussion with automotive artists Henry Chang and Randy Grubb, whose spectacular pieces of automotive ingenuity will be on display at the parade.
Parade to the people
On Thursday, April 13, the Main Street Drag will be going on all over Houston. Designed to “bring the parade to the people,” this events finds Art Cars and their artists visiting schools, hospitals, nursing homes, developmental facilities and other locations where residents may not be able to participate on their own on parade day.
More 100 cars will create a series of “mini parades” that will make their way to designated locations, as the artists spend time showing off their rolling masterpieces.
A free sneak peak
Later that evening, Discovery Green will host the Art Car Sneak Peek, a free, family-friendly evening featuring entertainment, food & drinks, and the opportunity to see 100+ art cars and meet their artists throughout the park and along Avenida Houston.
Art Car Ballin'
The Art Car Ball will be on Friday, April 14, at Orange Show World Headquarters (2401 Munger St.). Along with wild costumes, interactive/performance art, food, drinks, and a huge selection of illuminated art cars, there will also be performances from New Orleans avant-garde “rap cabaret” sensation Boyfriend, Austin’s lauded electro-pop performer Caleb de Casper, Houston’s DJ Amarji, the high-energy Free Rads 2nd Line, and more.
Saturday, April 15 is parade day, but several events will go down beforehand. At 11 am, Splice Records and Saint Arnold will present the Lineup Party, just west of the I-45 overpass. This is your chance to peruse the more than 250 art cars as they get ready for the parade.
At the same time, the H-E-B Kids Creative Zone, which will feature an array of creative activities for both kids and adults alike, will be over at Sam Houston Park. Over at Hermann Square at City Hall, the VIPit Experience will pop off at noon. The event features complimentary bites from over a dozen local chefs and restaurants, cocktails, pre-parade entertainment, kids’ art activities, swag bags, live parade commentating from notable Houston personalities, and nearby reserved parking.
At 2 pm, the parade will start rolling. Orange Show founder Marilyn Oshman will lead the parade as the 2023 Grand Marshal. The parade officially begins at the intersection of Dallas and Bagby Streets (on Allen Parkway) heading into downtown before circling City Hall and heading outbound onto Allen Parkway out of downtown, dispersing at Waugh Drive.
Art Car Awards
Things will close on Sunday, April 16 with the Art Car Awards Ceremony at Orange Show World Headquarters. Over $15,000 will be distributed to Art Car artists and groups in various categories through a judging process that rates entries based on their creativity, artistic techniques and inspiration. The public is invited to come celebrate the winners and get a final chance to see this year’s Art Car entries and meet the artists.
For schedules and more information, visit the official website.