Art Car Parade Houston Reviews
Artistry on Wheels May 23, 2010
It's amazing to see what can be transported on wheels.
Houston's Art Car Parade is a fun, annual event where designers show off their unique (and sometimes bizarre) vehicles. Sponsored by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, businesses, schools and individuals submit creative cars--some which wouldn't seem drivable. Vehicles include bicycles and hybrids.
This year's 23rd parade was held on May 8, 2010, attracting more than 250 entries with anything from wagons on wheels, to mobile outhouses, to cars with various themes. Decorations included monsters, birthday cakes and brightly painted cars. Parade attendees can vote on their favorite entry by cell phone.
Actor/comedian, Dan Aykroyd, is a fan of the parade and volunteered to serve as this year's grand marshal. Some of the cars were decorated like Aykroyd's films, including "Ghostbusters" and the "Blues Brothers".
This parade is free and popular with both local Houstonians and visitors alike. The crowd is diverse with anyone from car enthusiasts to families with small children attending. I especially enjoyed watching the reactions of small children as some are delighted by the cars.
I would recommend bringing a lawn chair, along with getting to the parade about an hour early. Some groups brought camping equipment including tents, so they would have a shaded view of the parade. The parade route is fairly spread out, though, so everyone can get a good view.
There is also entertainment before the parade starts. This year, music included a band sponsored by the International House of Blues, who entertained the crowd with great music from rock to blues to gospel. The media was in attendance and photographing the crowd dancing to the music.
Food and beverages are also available but lines are long and prices can be expensive. I saw some independent vendors selling food like ice cream from their own carts, which were more reasonably priced, but I would suggest bringing your own food and ice coolers.
Dress comfortably for the Houston heat and humidity. Many women were wearing large sunhats and I would recommend lots of sunscreen.
Parking in downtown Houston will run anywhere from $5 to $10 for the event, depending on how close the parking is to the parade.
Lastly, do not confuse the Art Car Parade with Houston's Art Car Museum. The parade is definitely worth seeing--the museum is not.
The Houston Art Car Parade has become very popular over the years and is now a three day event, which includes a ball. If you are visiting Houston in the late spring, keep an eye out for this parade. It's a great way to spend an afternoon.
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