You don’t need a museum to see some incredible works of art during the 37th annual Houston Art Car Parade Weekend, April 11-14. This event, powered by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, celebrates the "drive to create" and has become one of the most recognized and beloved events in Houston. It boasts entries from across the United States, Mexico, and Canada, making it the largest Art Car Parade in the world. With more than 250 cars, bikes, and just about anything else on wheels, this event is a spectacle!

It all began in 1988 with the first Houston Art Car Parade, which featured just 40 cars and brought a modest crowd of 2,000 spectators. The event was so popular that it doubled in size the next year and drew tens of thousands of people. Not only was the parade embraced by Houston’s art scene, but it became an important educational tool for schools in teaching life skills and engaging young people in the community. Since its founding, the Art Car Parade has grown to become one of the most anticipated art events in Houston. What was once a one-day affair is now a multi-day event with fun for the entire family. 


Halfway to Art Car 2019

Thursday, April 11 - The Main Street Drag, presented by H-E-B, is the first official event of Houston Art Car Parade Weekend and famously one of the art car artists' favorite parts of all four days. Organized by the Houston Art Car Parade Volunteer Committee, the Main Street Drag is an opportunity for art car artists to travel to locations across Houston and visit with individuals who may not have the chance to attend the parade. Schools, nursing homes, developmental centers, hospitals, and similar institutions are stops along the five miniature parade routes.


Art Car Parade Sneak Peek at Discovery Green

On the same day, from 6 to 10 p.m., you can view in Discovery Green the art cars that will be featured in the parade at Art Car Parade Sneak Peek event. See the cars up close throughout the park and on Avenida de las Americas and party with the artists! 

Friday, April 12 - The much-anticipated Legendary Art Car Ball. At this ticketed event, revelers arrive in their most stunning and outrageous costumes to dance the night away and enjoy interactive art installations.

Saturday, April 13 - The main event. The parade route opens at 11:00 a.m., allowing you to see the entries up close and meet the artists! Don´t miss H-E-B Kids Creative Zone (11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.) in Sam Houston Park and the Lineup Party (11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.) on Allen Parkway between Taft and Bagby.


Art Car Parade

The parade officially begins at 2 p.m. at the intersection of Dallas and Bagby Streets (on Allen Parkway). It heads into Downtown before circling City Hall and outbound onto Allen Parkway. It then heads out of Downtown until dispersing at Waugh Drive. As always, the parade is free to attend. Be sure to get there early for a great seat.

Sunday, April 14 -The weekend of activities wraps up with the Art Car Parade awards ceremony on Sunday at The Orange Show Headquarters. Winning entrants will receive over $15,000 in prize money.

For the full itinerary, visit the event website.


Photos by Morrris Malakoff and Dantiza Ladwig, courtesy of Art Car Parade